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Dennis Smith Jr. Wins Trail Blazers Roster Spot

Portland has finalized its roster for the start of the 2021-22 season anointing Smith Jr. with the 14th roster spot.

Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Standout preseason performer Dennis Smith Jr. has earned the Portland Trail Blazers’ 14th roster spot, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Portland’s roster is now likely set for the start of the regular season. With the team also waiving Marquese Chriss, Quinn Cook, and Patrick Patterson, the front office is not expected to fill Portland’s 15th spot at this time.

Smith Jr., who started for the Blazers in their final preseason game against the Golden State Warriors, beat out Marquese Chriss, Quinn Cook and Patrick Paterson for the contract. All of them signed training camp deals with Portland last month.

The North Carolina State product put up preseason averages of 11 points on 33.3 percent three-point shooting, 5 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 23.9 minutes — considerably more time than his three rivals.

At 6’2, Smith Jr. strengthens the Blazers’ point guard rotation, currently made up of Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, and occasionally CJ McCollum.

The 23-year-old Smith was drafted ninth by the Dallas Mavericks in 2017 before being traded to the New York Knicks in the famed 2019 Kristaps Porzingis deal. He was traded along with a second-round pick to the Detroit Pistons for Derrick Rose in February. He holds career averages of 11.8 points on 31 percent three point shooting along with 4.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds.