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Marcus Smart still could declare for NBA Draft if he wants

Apr 27, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Devon Energy College Basketball

Marcus Smart said he’s returning to Oklahoma State, and the NCAA’s early entry deadline has passed.

But, contrary to popular belief, the potential No. 1 overall pick can still declare for the 2013 NBA Draft. There’s even a rumor he’s considering it.

The NCAA moved up its deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft to the first day of the spring signing period, which was April 16 this year. However, the NBA deadline to enter the draft is April 28.

The punishment for breaking the NCAA’s rule is losing college eligibility, which for a player entering the NBA Draft, doesn’t matter anyway. The NCAA is only limiting how much time players have to assess their options and make an informed decision. As usual, the athletes lose at the expense of the coaches and administrators, who don’t want to face the difficulty of replacing their NBA-worthy stars.

I’m surprised more players don’t let the NCAA deadline pass while remaining in school and the deciding later, and more power to Smart if that’s what he did, whether or not he truly believed he’d pass on this draft.

Maybe he shouldn’t have participated in a news conference to explain why he was staying at Oklahoma State one more year, but that’s the bind the NCAA puts players in. If Smart wants to declare for the NBA Draft this year, he should. Neither a meaningless deadline nor a forced news conference should stop him.

  1. drewvt6 - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Dear Marcus,
    Just do it…..please for the love of God!

    Sincerely,
    Matt Barkley

  2. erckle31 - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    The NCAA is just a joke, some of these guys may go on to make millions regardless, but the one thing more valuable than the dollar bill is time. Many of these guys are rushed into a decision they might not be fully committed to. You can debate whether this rule is truly good for the NBA or not, but it sure as hell isn’t beneficial to these kids.

  3. saint1997 - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    At first I wanted Marcus to come to the NBA but to be honest next years college ball is looking so crazy I really don’t mind if he stays!

  4. themagicfanguy - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Please come to the NBA!

    – Us Magic fans

    • raidmagic - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      Not sold on him. If he’s coming so the Magic can pick him please stay.

  5. gopokes0714 - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    I love Marcus Smart, and I was very shocked he decided to stay. I mean, who can fault him for going? But if he changes his mind now, it would change the way I view him.

    It wasn’t just a press conference, it was a pep rally in the Student Union, with 2 other marquee returning players. It would be the college equivalent of King James saying “eh, nevermind, Im staying in Clevland” after the show in Miami with Wade and Bosh.

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