Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Potential top-five pick Dennis Smith Jr. will declare for NBA draft

North Carolina State v Duke

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 23: Dennis Smith Jr. #4 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack drives in for a dunk as time expires during their win against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 23, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. North Carolina State won 84-82. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The madness of March is kicking into gear, with most top NBA draft prospects playing in conference tournaments and, soon, the NCAA tournament.

Two notable exceptions: Markelle Fultz (freshman point guard for 9-22 Washington) and Dennis Smith Jr. (freshman point guard for 15-17 North Carolina State). Their seasons are finished, and Smith seems ready to move on.

Adam Zagoria of FanRag:

Smith Jr. will declare for the draft, “There’s no question,” an N.C. State source told

As Ben Simmons showed last year, NBA teams are willing to overlook a lack of college team success -- as they should. There’s only so much a single player, especially a young one, can do.

Smith could be a top-five pick, though team need could factor. It’s a loaded draft for point guards with Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Smith, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Frank Ntilikina jockeying for position high in the lottery.

Smith uses his athleticism to attack the rim and creates passing lanes. From there, he has the leaping ability to finish and the court vision to find teammates.

His jumper is better than a liability, but it’s still a major question. So is Smith’s defense. North Carolina State was a mess on that end this season, and Smith will be challenged to prove he was a victim rather than than a cause.