He’s not the instant plug-and-play fix that Lonzo Ball is, admittedly. Yet, the Pelicans may not want to lose Ball and will attempt to match any offer the Cavs extend. Dennis Smith, on the other hand, could be much more easily obtained. With Smith, you’re not getting guaranteed metrics but possibility. What Smith brings to the table is potential. A fireable offense if it doesn’t turn into something, but a career-making signing if he does.
What Smith needs more than anything is consistency. As the third guard on the team, Smith would ideally run the second unit. He wouldn’t be forced to be “the guy“, nor would Smith have to be the player the team builds around. He’d just have to fit in.
While he isn’t going to solve the problem with the perimeter shooting, what he can do is play great defense. With the Knicks in 2018-2019 and the Pistons this past season, Smith was one of the better defensive players on the team. He’s gritty and able to get in front of opposing players without fear of getting beat too easily.
The issue isn’t his defensive techniques, as he’s sound in the right system, the problem comes from his play-making abilities or lack thereof. While he’s put up 12 points per game for his career and four assists across the same span, he hasn’t exactly been the most reliable offensive force over the last few years.
Considering you’d have to offer quite a bit for Smith to get the Pistons to back off, there may be a lot of hesitation in going after a guy who may only improve you on defense.