The 2017 NBA Draft is right around the corner — next Thursday, June 22. Which means it’s the homestretch for prospects — both elite and fringe — to make an impression with certain teams. This is business time for Dennis Smith Jr.
Over the weekend, the former NC State point guard worked out with the Los Angeles Lakers, who own the No. 2 and No. 28 picks in this year’s first round.
There’s one truly notable statistic in Mark Medina’s account of the workout in the Orange County Register: Dennis Smith’s vertical leap. According to Medina, DSJ recorded an vertical leap of 48 inches.
This was later confirmed on Twitter by the man himself:
Yeah dawg https://t.co/Osc7HhWUDr
— Dennis Smith Jr. (@Dennis4Smith) June 12, 2017
So, why is this newsworthy?
First and foremost, that’s absurd number to register; that’s flying four feet in the air. Read that back before you move to the next sentence. Secondly, this is an unofficial measurement, obviously, but it would race past the NBA combine record for vertical leap.
That number seems a bit jarring, but if you’re aware of DSJ’s handiwork, then I suppose it’s not too surprising.
Any chance the Lakers select Dennis Smith with the No. 2 pick?
Meh, probably not. It’s fun to envision Dennis Smith teamed up with former Duke star Brandon Ingram, another North Carolina prep product, though. However, assuming the Boston Celtics go with Markelle Fultz at No. 1 (Thanks, Brooklyn!), it seems most likely that the Lake Show will roll with Lonzo Ball second overall. Although reviews of Ball’s workout last week with Los Angeles weren’t exactly sterling.
Reading the tea leaves here is far from an exact science, but it appears that of the group of top four points guards, Smith is ranked fourth — behind Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, too. This is a group we’ve tracked since last December.
In the latest DraftExpress projections, Smith is headed to Sacramento, with the No. 10 pick. Those rankings, however, haven’t been updated since June 3; so that’s subject to change.
Dennis Smith averaged 18.1 points and led the ACC with 6.2 assists. The freshman also shot 35.9 percent on three-pointers.
The 2017 NBA Draft starts at 7 p.m. next Thursday in Brooklyn, and will be televised by ESPN.