DALLAS – The Dallas Mavericks announced today that rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was selected to compete for the U.S. Team in the 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars at All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles. The game will be played at the STAPLES Center in L.A. on Friday, Feb. 16, and will air live on TNT at 8 p.m. CT.
Smith (6-3, 195) holds averages of 14.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 0.97 steals and 28.4 minutes per game in 39 games (all starts) for Dallas this season. He ranks second on the Mavericks in scoring, assists and steals per game. Among rookie leaders, Smith ranks fifth in scoring, 10th in rebounding, fourth in assists, fifth in steals and seventh in minutes per game.
The ninth overall pick in this past year’s draft has produced nine 20-point games, two double-doubles and one triple-double for Dallas in 2017-18. Smith has also recorded 10 double-digit scoring quarters, seven of which have come in the fourth.
In his NBA debut, Smith delivered a team-high-tying 16 points and a game-high 10 assists against Atlanta on Oct. 18, becoming the youngest player in NBA history (19 years, 327 days) to record a point-assist double-double in his NBA debut.
The former North Carolina State guard racked up 142 points and 49 assists in his first 10 career games, joining LeBron James (168 points and 64 assists in 2003-04) and Kyrie Irving (166 points and 52 assists in 2011-12) as the only teenagers in NBA history to reach those totals in their first 10 career NBA contests.
Smith recorded his first career triple-double with a team-high 21 points (8-12 FGs, 5-7 3FGs) to go along with a career-high 10 rebounds and a career-high-tying (game-high) 10 assists in 31 minutes in Dallas’ 128-120 win at New Orleans on Dec. 29. Smith (20 years, 34 days) became the third-youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double (Lonzo Ball, LeBron James).
NBA assistant coaches were again responsible for selecting the players to compete in the Rising Stars event this year. The coaches were required to vote for four frontcourt players, four guards and two additional players at either position, in order of preference, for each team (U.S. Team and World Team). They were also required to vote for a minimum of three rookies and three sophomores for each team.