LeBron James on Dennis Smith Jr.: "He should be a Knick"

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Speaking to reporters at Madison Square Garden two days after he said NY goofed by not drafting Dennis Smith Jr., who plays for the Mavericks, James confirmed what many initially suspected: His comments were targeted at former Knicks president Phil Jackson, not Ntilikina. But Ntilikina's teammates strongly defended him in the wake of James' comments. "I don't even know the kid", James said at the Cavaliers' shootaround before their game against the Knicks. He's playing great, and he's doing what he's supposed to. I would not change Frank for anybody. "I was thinking about the Knicks organization and Phil Jackson at the time and Dennis Smith's talent and Porzingis".

The Mavericks selected Smith, also a point guard, with the ninth pick in June, one spot after the Knicks selected Ntilikina. "He should be a Knick". Fans can be heard saying hello to former Knick J.R. Smith as the team makes their way to the platform. I know what Dennis Smith is capable of doing and I knew the Knicks had been looking for a point guard.

Meanwhile, James and the rest of the Cavaliers are set to face the Knicks on Monday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. EST at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Smith Jr.is averaging 14.8 points and 4.9 assists per game in 12 games - all starts - for the Mavericks (2-12).

Smith bagged 142 points and 49 assists in his first 10 games this season - the third best performance in all of NBA's history for a rookie in his first year.

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"The Knicks passed on a really good on". But Ntilikina's teammates, coaches and Knicks executives are pleased with his play and enthused by the promise he's shown.

"I had nothing but respect for him as a coach for what he was able to do", James said at the time. "We have Frank, and Frank has done a great job for us, his abilities, the way he's grown from day one and the things that he's worked on, we expect him to be a great player also".

As expected, there were several reactions that disagreed with what James said, and one of them came from Knicks player Enes Kanter.

He expanded on those thoughts at practice on Sunday. It's just that you stating what you see. I've been with him for so long now.

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