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Chris Paul ‘happy’ Dennis Smith Jr. got traded to Knicks, says youngster is ‘special’

Chris Paul, Dennis Smith Jr.

Not only does Houston Rockets star guard Chris Paul think New York Knicks youngster Dennis Smith Jr. is “special,” the future Hall of Famer admits he was “happy” Smith got traded to the Knicks this past season.

Smith Jr. has been working out with Paul in Las Vegas. The two guards are very close friends off the court. Paul says Knicks head coach David Fizdale is the perfect coach for Smith Jr. in New York.

“Dennis is special, special,” Paul told Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “I think being here with Fiz, getting an opportunity to play, getting up and down, I was happy for him when he got traded to the Knicks last year because he got that New York grind in him.

“We were just talking about how as you learn the game more and more, it slows down for you. I think with Dennis, everything is confidence. Having Fiz backing him, and his teammates and all that, if he gets the city of New York behind him — you should have seen all of North Carolina behind him. He’s got it.”

This past season with the Dallas Mavericks and Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr. averaged 13.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 32.2 percent from beyond the arc and 63.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Perimeter shooting is the one facet of Smith Jr.’s game which he needs to work on.

Chris Paul is the master of the mid-range game. Knicks fans are hoping Paul is helping Smith Jr. improve his jump shot.