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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / June 29.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. Working Out for Knicks on Wednesday (UPDATED)

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    N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is in New York and will work out for the Knicks on Wednesday, a source told ZAGSBLOG.

    The Knicks pick at No. 8 in the June 22nd NBA Draft and are in need of a lead guard.

    Knicks President Phil Jackson said at the NBA Draft Combine that his team was looking for “guards and wings.”

    The Knicks could be in the mix for several guards, including Smith Jr.,  Kentucky’s Malik Monk or French product Frank Ntilikina, who could be a good fit in the triangle offense.

    Smith Jr. is also expected to work out for the Lakers, who pick at No. 2, and the Philadelphia 76ers, who pick at No. 3.

    The 6-foot-3 Smith averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds this season for the Wolfpack.

    Former N.C. State assistant Orlando Early believes Smith Jr. has a bright future in the NBA.

    “I think his basketball future is ahead of him,” Early told FanRagSports.com. “People forget that he sat out his senior year of high school and didn’t play [with an ACL tear], so he enrolled in January [2016] and couldn’t work out with us. And this year he was going against teams that are prepared to stop him and game-planning to stop him, he had never seen that. So it was a big adjustment for him, but still he had a great year.”

    As for what he’ll bring to an NBA franchise, Early said, “I think his competitive spirit, his mental toughness, he brings that. He’s still going to learn. He’s got a lot to learn just like every guy in the draft but right off the bat his competitiveness and his ability to score the ball is going to help whoever is in position to draft him.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.