Kenneth "Speedy" Smith
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Grand Rapids Drive acquire “Speedy” Smith in trade with Lakers

Grand Rapids sends 2nd Round pick to South Bay in exchange for veteran guard

Kenneth “Speedy” Smith has been acquired by the Grand Rapids Drive in a trade with the South Bay Lakers. Grand Rapids sent their second round pick (#39) in next week’s G League draft out west.

The Drive, the G League affiliate of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, now hold the returning player rights to Smith.

Smith is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard who played collegiately at Louisiana Tech. He played in 140 games and averaged 6.2 points, 6.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. Smith earned Conference-USA Defensive Player of the Year during his junior year and named conference Player of the Year during his senior campaign.

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He then went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft after working out for multiple teams, including the Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, among others. Later that summer, Smith agreed to a two-year deal with VEF Riga of the Latvian Basketball League. He appeared in three games for Riga and eight VTB United League games before returning to the States.

Over the last two seasons, Smith has been a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders (now known as the South Bay Lakers), where he appeared in 78 games. His G League averages are 5.1 points, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game while playing nearly 19 minutes. Smith started six games during his LA stint.

With a record 26 teams in the Gatorade League for the 2017-18 season, the draft itself has become a bit of a mystery. First-round picks are usually when the best players are taken. Most of those players will have the opportunity to sign with NBA teams, as some have just been waived by parent clubs. Robert Covington, the Drive’s first ever draft pick, signed with the Philadelphia 76ers after just one preseason game with GR. G League teams will hold their returning rights if the player signs overseas or in a semi-pro league.

Dealing a mid second-round pick shouldn’t worry fans. With the Drive still having a first-round pick (#13), expect the team to build through the draft. Grand Rapids also holds picks #31 (2nd), #65 (3rd) and #91 (4th).

The NBA G League Draft will take place on October 21, 2017 at 1:00 PM.

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