After Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac locked down the No. 4 spot in a tightly contested vote, NC State guard Dennis Smith Jr. eked out a victory by an even slimmer margin.
Smith Jr. solidified himself as a top-five talent (in the eyes of the community) by taking him 33 percent of the vote. De’Aaron Fox came in second with 29 percent (413 votes) and Malik Monk came in third with 28 percent (396 votes), setting up for a showdown between the former Kentucky teammates.
I’ve been down on Smith Jr. more than most of the writers on this site, so I find his selection here a bit odd (also given the fact that people wanted Monk involved so badly we had to redo an entire poll). His athleticism has struck me has being overrated. He doesn’t have a fantastic first step, and I’ve never seen him explode through the open floor like some of the NBA’s bouncy floor generals. Smith Jr. is a complete non-factor on the defensive end mostly because he doesn’t care, but his 6-foot-3 wingspan certainly isn’t going to make things any easier. To complement him a little, I will say he’s great around the rim at drawing/absorbing contact, is a better passer than people give him credit for, and apparently has some NBA range.
Charted NBA 3 makes (above the break 24-30 feet) for lead guards in this class (with two scheme-changers for context) *Per Synergy pic.twitter.com/HtCTmZCEqw— Cole Zwicker (@colezwicker) May 31, 2017
I just struggle to see him emerging as one of the league’s elite point guards. Based on his shooting ability, his fit next to Simmons would be much more logical, but if fit was in serious consideration Monk should have won by a landslide.
That’s a debate that will have to be had for this next poll. What’s valued more: a player with superstar potential but has a lackluster fit with the current Sixers core (Fox), or a perfect schematic fit with a low ceiling (Monk)?
Have it out in the comments below.
We’ll add Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell to replace Smith Jr. I think he’s great too.
LB Big Board: Who is #6?
This poll is closed