NBA Draft

Marcus Smart

Scouting Report

Smart made the surprising and somewhat questionable decision to return to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season, turning down the chance to go perhaps as high as No. 2 in what was viewed as one of the weakest NBA drafts in years. Though his numbers improved across the board in 2013-14 - he averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and cut his turnovers per game from 3.4 to 2.6 - his stock certainly didn't. Much more of that, though, is due to the loaded 2014 draft class rather than Smart's own shortcomings. A February incident at Texas Tech in which he shoved a fan in the stands after a verbal altercation was the low point of Smart's career with the Cowboys, but he returned from a three-game suspension to help rescue Oklahoma State from the bubble and propel it to the NCAA tournament. Smart has a frame NBA teams will love, with size and strength rare for a point guard that will allow him to get into the paint and withstand some punishment. Perhaps the most significant improvement he made in his second season in Stillwater was getting to the free-throw line 8.1 times per game, 1.6 more than he did as a freshman despite then playing more minutes. He's not just a distributor in half-court sets and in transition, as his ability to post up smaller point guards should allow him to kick the ball to open teammates from closer to the basket. That size could also help Smart guard multiple positions, though he'll want to be careful to not bring his reputation as something of a flopper along with him to the NBA. The biggest criticism of Smart is a glaring one: He's simply not a good shooter at this point. He made 42.2 percent from the field as a sophomore and 29.9 percent from 3-point range despite taking more than five 3s per game. Many of those were ill-advised, and a propensity for firing up jumpers from beyond the arc early in the shot clock will earn him a quick hook in the NBA. The physical gifts are there, however, and his ability to penetrate and pass or score in the paint are highly impressive. Smart isn't going ahead of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid, but he could be in play at No. 4 with Orlando and shouldn't fall any lower than the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 7.


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