Re-Grading the Mavericks' Last 5 First-Round Picks

Taking a walk down memory lane can be a fun exercise. Here's a look at the re-grades for the Dallas Mavericks' last five first-round draft picks.
Re-grading the Mavericks' last five first-round NBA draft picks.
Re-grading the Mavericks' last five first-round NBA draft picks. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Dennis Smith Jr., PG/SG (2017 R1, P9): D+

It might be hard to remember, but there was a fair amount of hype surrounding Dennis Smith Jr. ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft. After all, he was coming off a collegiate campaign that saw him named ACC Rookie of the Year after averaging 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.9 steals across 32 games at NC State.

It certainly looked like Smith was going to live up to the hype at first. His debut NBA season couldn't have gone better, averaging 15.2 PTS/5.2 AST/3.8 REB/1.0 STL en route to finishing fifth in the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year voting process. It certainly looked as if the Fayetteville, NC native was poised to be a mainstay in Dallas' backcourt for the foreseeable future.

Smith's stint in the Lone Star State didn't last long, though. The former Wolfpack guard — along with two other players and a pair of first-round draft picks — was moved to the New York Knicks in exchange for Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr, and two more veterans in January 2019.

Since the move, Smith has played 225 games for five different franchises, averaging worse totals than he did during his rookie year with the Mavericks. While it can be hard to grade a player who left so long ago, it's hard to feel good about Smith as a former top-10 pick — especially when names like Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, and Jarrett Allen were selected within the next 13 picks.

At the end of the day, Smith's grade would have been much higher had he successfully built upon his rookie performance.