Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Where Smart is picked in 2014
By Joe Kaiser
Last night's news that Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart plans to enter the 2014 NBA draft, first reported by Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, all but puts an end to any thoughts that the sophomore could again shock the world and stay in school for his junior season.
With that comes the question of where the athletic point guard will be selected next June. Lets take an early look ahead, shall we?
Smart is currently the No. 3 player on Chad Ford's 2014 Big Board, trailing only Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle. Considering how highly regarded both Wiggins and Randle are -- both are pegged as potential All-Stars -- we have to believe Smart will be picked no higher than No. 3.
Other top talents with a chance to vault above Smart, even if he has a strong sophomore season, could include highly regarded freshmen Jabari Parker (Duke) and Aaron Gordon (Arizona). That could depend on how the draft lottery plays out, and what the needs are for the teams in the top 5. Orlando, Toronto, Sacramento and Milwaukee are four potential lottery teams next summer that stand out as possible suitors for Smart, especially since each could very well be in the market for a point guard. But if none of them end up with a top five pick, one has to wonder if Smart will slip on draft day.
The other part of this is the possibility that Smart struggles as a sophomore in one way or another; Maybe a flaw in his game becomes more apparent, or his shooting percentage fail to improve, or he is slowed by an injury. If any of those things happen, it could open the door for another highly touted point guard like Australia's Dante Exum, Kentucky's Andrew Harrison or maybe even someone like Xavier's Semaj Christon or Arizona State's Jahii Carson to leapfrog Smart as the top point guard in the class.