It’s April 17th 2013, and Marcus Smart has just made what some might call a not so “smart” decision and decided to return to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season, passing on millions of dollars and a chance to be a top 5 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Yes in 2013 that is a bad decision. The days of the stay all four years and develop your game types ala Tim Duncan are all but over. As a matter of fact ridicule will get thrown your way for even thinking about coming back to school. But he did and that is one of the reasons I feel he will make just about every team that passes on him regret it!
Smart was on his way to becoming a sure fire top 5 maybe even top 3 pick in that year’s draft, but passed up on that chance citing that he still felt that he needed to improve some things in his game. In this money driven “get it while you can” society people turning down millions is about as rare as seeing Gas at 1.99 a gallon (pretty much extinct). So why do it? It’s because a true great is never satisfied with being just ok. Excellence is what they strive for and coming out of college before you are ready can lead you down a path headed for a career like Kwame Brown, who never fully reached his potential. Smart recognizes that, and I feel he has the will to develop his game and become a perennial all-star.
Let’s start with his intangibles, we hear so many people talk about these but so few have them. Unmeasurable things like: hustle, heart, competitiveness, drive, and leadership, are all a part of this trait — known as “intangibles”. They so often are lacked by many players in the NBA. It’s almost like an extra reward tacked on toward the end of player evaluations that open with gushing remarks about size and athleticism, skill and talent. You usually hear they have great Intangibles mentioned about the Jordan’s, Magic’s, LeBron’s and Kobe’s of the world. I feel that Marcus Smart can get to that caliber.
Marcus Smart has an incredibly versatile game. At 6’4 226lbs Marcus Smart definitely has the build to point guard in the NBA, but he also has the skill to match. If you go watch a highlight tape of Smart you a liable to see alley-oop passes and finishes, nice driving finishes in the lane, crisp on point passing, superb on and off ball defense, and something what he worked on the most after his freshman season the ability to make the 3pt shot (just go check out his 30 point game vs Purdue this past season). All these skills are what the upper echelon point guards in the league possess Smart just happens to be 6’4 226! He still has work to do but Jason Kidd/ Baron Davis comparisons seem apt and could be in his future.
In this point guard driven league the best thing you can draft now is a franchise changing point guard. Think Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and Steph Curry when you think Marcus Smart. Not saying he’s there yet but he has that type of potential and if paired with the right pieces he could go from the most underrated player in this draft to the most successful. So long as he continues his dedication to getting better and cutting down on his Fan “Interactions” there is no reason why Marcus Smart can’t potentially one day be the top PG in the league!