Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was selected one pick after the New York Knicks drafted Frank Ntilikina.
Now an early favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year, the move is already considered perplexing. Ian Begley and Howard Beck, who both cover the Knicks, joined The Lowe Post Show podcast with Zach Lowe and provided more context (via ESPN):
“I heard there were concerns about Dennis Smith from a medical standpoint … You never know with these situations – are agents withholding information because they don’t want you to draft a guy? But there was, I believe, a lack of access to medical records.”
Smith did not work out with the Knicks when he met with the franchise and instead just had dinner with the organization. According to the New York Post, his representatives declined to take measurements and a medical exam as well.
In the podcast, meanwhile, the reporters mention the New York front office was also looking at Malik Monk and Donovan Mitchell as well as Smith before they selected point guard Frank Ntilikina.
Smith may have made the choice a bit out of their control by not providing medical history given teams may have been concerned about the torn ACL that forced him to miss his senior year of high school.