Knicks' Dennis Smith Jr. Denies Allegations He Was Paid to Attend NC State

Smith was the ACC freshman of the year in 2016-17 and the No. 9 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
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Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. told NC State officials that neither he nor his family ever received payments from Adidas in exchange for his commitment to play at NC State, ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported on Wednesday.

According to Schlabach, Smith told school officials he didn't know former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola, whom the NCAA has accused of providing $40,000 from Adidas to former assistant Orlando Early to give to Smith's family in Oct. 2015.

A memo released by the university stated that Smith told officials that, if he had received money, "he would not have been driving his grandmother's car," per the Associated Press.The 2016-17 ACC freshman of the year also told officials that he was not aware of the payment Gassnola allegedly made or any payments from Early or former Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried, who now coaches at Cal State Northridge.

The NCAA charged NC State with four violations, including two Level I violations, in July. The association determined that Smith was ineligible while competing in 32 games during the 2016-17 season.

The No. 9 pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Smith averaged 13.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists last season for the Knicks.