Dennis Smith Jr. projected to go within top 12 picks

Jacey Zembal, Editor
The Wolfpacker

NC State freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has probably been thinking about tonight for several years now.

The NBA Draft starts at 7 p.m. tonight on ESPN. The various mock drafts have the 6-foot-3 high-flyer going anywhere from the sixth pick to as low as No. 12. The various mock drafts are in order of where Smith could get drafted.

BasketballInsiders.com did a “consensus” mock draft with four different people giving projections. Joel Brigham had Smith going the highest at No. 6 to the Orlando Magic, who started Elfrid Payton a year ago. Co-worker Steve Kyler had Smith going No. 7 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and both Michael Scotto and Moke Hamilton had him going No. 9 to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have drafted its fair share of point guards over the years — Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, Tyus Jones and Kris Jones. Three of those four still reside in Minnesota. HoopsHype.com has Smith going No. 7 to the Timberwolves, and compares him to Baron Davis.

NBADraft.net projects Smith to also go to the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 7.

Few put in the time or the resources to study basketball players around the world like DraftExpress.com. Jonathan Givony and his crew originally had Smith going No. 8 to the New York Knicks, but have shifted him down a spot to No. 9 and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks ended the season playing undrafted rookie free agent Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell.

In NBA Draft analyst Chad Ford’s last draft for ESPN.com, he has Smith as the seventh best player in the draft, but going No. 9 to the Dallas Mavericks.

Seth Davis’ new NBA Draft venture, Seth’s Draft House, projects Smith to go No. 9 to the Dallas Mavericks. He’d be the fifth point guard taken.

Jeremy Woo of SI.com ranks Smith the seventh best player in the draft, but has him going to the point guard-shy Sacramento Kings at No. 10, who played Darren Collison and Ty Lawson last year.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, which is Bill Simmons’ new venture, compared Smith to Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury and Jeff Teague. He has Smith slotted for No. 12 to the Detroit Pistons, where he’d be groomed behind point guard Reggie Jackson.

Fred Kerber of the New York Post was the first person to have Smith going to the Charlotte Hornets at No. 11, to become Kemba Walker’s backup point guard.

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