This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Freshman, PG, North Carolina State
6’3, 195 lbs
College Stats In 2016-17:
32 games, 34.8 MPG, 18.1 PPG, 6.2 APG, 4.6 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 45.5 FG%, 35.9 3P%, 71.5 FT%
ACC Rookie of the Year
ACC All-Freshman Team
Where He’ll Go:
Smith is considered a lottery pick.
Best Game In 2014-15:
In this 105-78 blowout win over Virginia Tech on Jan. 4, Smith finished with 27 points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds and five steals. He shot an efficient 9-for-16 from the field.
Smith had a bit of a roller-coaster season with NC State, but you could also make the argument that he didn’t have the same talent around him that other lottery picks had.
He did have solid production, nearly averaging 20 points per game. He’s strong, explosive and can flat-out fly.
In the open court, watch out. Smith’s power and speed are pretty much impossible to stop. Take a charge? Good luck. That leads to plenty of free-throw attempts, although his 71 free-throw percentage leads much to be desired.
He is a solid ball handler and has a very good hesitation move. He is a very solid passer and as he trusts his teammates at the next level, he’ll probably be more willing.
You’d like to see some more communication from him, especially at the point-guard position.
His jump shot needs some work and that will be something NBA defenders likely dare him to do early in his career. He shot 50 percent or better in 18 games, but shot 40 percent or worse in nine games. The same goes for his 3-point shot. He had three or more 3-pointers in 10 games, but also went a combined 0-for-23 in nine games.
He has all the tools to be a very good defender. You’d like to see more length, but he can’t control that. He has quick feet and a strong build. He shows flashes at being great defensively, but needs to be more consistent.
This draft class has plenty of solid point guards like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and D’Aaron Fox. Don’t forget Smith, though.
“At 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Smith has a rare combination of speed and power at the point guard position. He may not be Russell Westbrook or John Wall, but he’s easily the most athletic floor general in this year’s draft,” – The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks.