10 players that could have bolted
July, 1, 2013
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN Insider
William Purnell/Icon SMIMarcus Smart averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds last season for Oklahoma State.The 2013 NBA draft was lackluster, especially at the top. Thankfully, it was entertaining because of the trades and uncertainty throughout the entire night.
However, next year's draft will be loaded. That's why most NBA general managers weren’t willing to deal first-round picks in 2014.
Part of the reason for that talent is that there were a number of players who decided to return to school despite likely being first-round draft picks -- and that college basketball will also welcome a stellar freshman class, led by Kansas small forward Andrew Wiggins.
We take a look at 10 players who could and, maybe, should have bolted, and the teams that are certain to benefit from their decisions to return to school.
1. Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State Cowboys
I’m not sold that he would have been the No. 1 pick or even gone in the top three in last week’s draft, but he would have been a lottery pick for certain. This was the shocker of all shockers in terms of a guy going against conventional wisdom and remaining in school. His return makes Travis Ford and the Cowboys contenders to win the Big 12, and a lock in everyone’s preseason Top 25. Smart should be in the equation for National Player of the Year honors.
2. Mitch McGary, F, Michigan Wolverines
His stock soared in the NCAA tournament as the Wolverines made their way to the national championship game. He was a monster down low, dominating on the boards and playing with toughness and energy. He could have gone inside the top 20, but McGary opted to return, and now it won’t be quite as easy without Trey Burke around in Ann Arbor.