BROOKLYN – The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent guard Dennis Smith Jr. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
Smith Jr. (6’2”, 205) spent the 2022-23 season with the Charlotte Hornets, appearing in 54 games (15 starts) and recording averages of 8.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and a career-high 1.4 steals in 25.7 minutes per game. Smith Jr. ranked third in the league in steals per game among players to play 26.0 or fewer minutes per game, trailing only Washington’s Delon Wright (1.8 steals in 24.4 minutes per game) and Chicago’s Alex Caruso (1.5 steals in 23.5 minutes per game). Charlotte’s defense improved by 10.7 points per 100 possessions with Smith Jr. on the court, and his on/off ‘defensive impact’ ranked as the second-best in the league among players to log at least 1,000 minutes. Smith Jr. also posted a career-best 3.18 assist-to-turnover ratio in his lone season with the Hornets. In six seasons split between Charlotte, Portland (2021-22), Detroit (2021), New York (2019-21) and Dallas (2017-19), the 25-year-old has registered averages of 10.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 24.2 minutes per contest across 270 games (150 starts).
He earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors with the Mavericks in 2017-18 after averaging 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 29.7 minutes per game over 69 games (all starts). Smith Jr. was selected with the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft by Dallas after spending one year (2016-17) at North Carolina State University, where the Fayetteville, N.C., native secured ACC Freshman of the Year and All-ACC Second Team honors in his lone season with the Wolfpack.