Despite the New York Knicks’ trade search for a point guard, Chris Smith received a call up from the NBA D-League and has remained confident about his roster spot. The Knicks have pursued Kyle Lowry while keeping an eye on Jeremy Tyler, but Smith anticipates staying with the organization past any moves.
“Yeah, definitely expect to be here,” Smith told RealGM. “I feel my number is going to be called soon, but I’m going to wait on it.”
Smith’s validity on the 15-player roster has been questioned and well publicized – only further fueled by the fact that the Knicks needed a reliable big man early this season. Still, Smith, the younger brother of J.R. Smith, has captured support of his teammates with his training habits.
In six games with the Erie BayHawks, Smith averaged 11.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in almost 25 minutes a night. Being groomed as a point guard, Smith left the D-League with an understanding of the effort needed at the professional level.
Smith scored 28 points on 12 of 16 shooting last Saturday in his last game with Erie before returning to the Knicks.
“The D-League was a good experience, a humbling one,” Smith said. “You don’t get all the perks as you do in the NBA, so it was humbling. I’m starting to come into my own as a player and proving that I belong here. Through time, no matter what the situation is, I’m going to stay humble, learn from the vets, and be ready when my number is called.”