4. Dennis Smith Jr (6-3 195, 20-years-old – 9th pick)
2018-19 Stats : 45-33-65 shooting line, 1.4 treys – 16.5 points, 3.8 assists and 1 steal
Dennis Smith Jr. is a flashy, athletic guard that can distribute the ball and score. He plays decent defense as well.
It’s so fun to watch him in transition. He will drive at will and finish in the paint over the bigger defender without any fear of contact.
If he can’t drive, he will take, and often hit, the step back jumper.
He has no issue finding the open man as well. He’s scored 20+ points in 18 games, made at least 3 treys in 14 games, dished out at least 8 assists in 14 games and swiped at least 2 steals in 22 games.
Last season vs the Philadelphia 76ers, when facing Ben Simmons, he showed his all-around potential: 20 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. His 3.8 assist to 3.4 turnover rate so far this season is a little concerning but he has a bright future.
The greatest issue in Phoenix not taking Smith is that they don’t have a point guard right now and Smith would be perfect moving forward with the franchise pairing up with Devin Booker as one of the most talented, young backcourts in the NBA.
When McDonough drafted Josh Jackson he still had Eric Bledsoe on the roster so point guard wasn’t quite as glaring an issue – to the public. Behind the scenes Bledsoe had already expressed his desire to be traded and McDonough knew this, yet he still went with Jackson.
In his mind could Jackson still have been the best player available?
Could McDonough have maybe believed that Bledsoe would stay patient and allow for the right trade to develop.
He too also could have had zero foresight, knew that Bled might make a public stink, and didn’t plan accordingly.