Apr 7, 2014, 7:28 PM EST
Marcus Smart became the first player to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft, doing so last July.
Ever since Smart made the surprising decision to return to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season, the plan had been to leave after it. Now, he’s making it official.
“I’ve told my teammates and my coaching staff, this year was my last year here and I am declaring for the NBA Draft,” Smart said. “I have picked an agent, with the Wasserman Group, a great group of guys.
I truly hope Smart enjoyed his extra college season, and if he did, that would justify his decision.
But from a purely Machiavellian standpoint, it’s difficult to see the gains.
Smart’s most-likely draft slot last year would have been No. 2 to the Magic. This year, he’s in the top six of prospects with Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Julius Randle – but toward the bottom of that group. Plus, by delaying the start of his rookie deal, it’ll take longer until he gets his lucrative second contract.
His 3-point percentage barely changed at Oklahoma State (29 as a freshman, 30 as a sophomore), leaving increased doubt whether he can develop into an NBA-level outside shooter. And even beyond his most-serious on-court concern, general managers will have questions about him pushing a fan.
All that said, Smart is an excellent prospect. He’s a 6-foot-4, 220-pound force of a guard, and he just turned 20 years old. There’s plenty of upside left in Smart, who has already shown leadership and passion every team should covet.
Smart is a lock for the top 10, and No. 8 is probably a more-realistic floor. Soon, Smart will get the millions of dollars he deferred when returning to Oklahoma State.
His future is bright, about as bright as it appeared at this time last year. The NBA just had to wait a season for it, but the league will still welcome him with open arms this June.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:56 PM EST
Wade may be selected as an All-Star reserve Thursday night, but wouldn’t play in the midseason exhibition if the timeline holds true.
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“I looked down to see my legs, and I saw my bone. The second I saw my bone, I just lost it.”
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See Andrew Wiggins’, Shabazz Muhammad’s and Dante Exum’s
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Timberwolves enjoying rare win
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Jan 29, 2015, 12:14 PM EST
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Jan 29, 2015, 11:41 AM EST
Thunder star is ridiculous(ly awesome)
Jan 29, 2015, 11:03 AM EST
A mutual parting after season wouldn’t be a surprised
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‘Person close to Durant’ cites Thunder star’s fondness of Carmelo Anthony
Jan 29, 2015, 9:43 AM EST
Rockets center requires further testing
Jan 29, 2015, 9:06 AM EST
Happy times for Cavaliers. How long will they continue?
Jan 29, 2015, 8:30 AM EST
Sidney is the poster child for the can’t miss prospect that missed.
Jan 29, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
At this point there have been no charges or arrests.
Jan 29, 2015, 1:29 AM EST
The Sixers, Knicks and Timberwolves win on the same day? Isn’t that one of the signs of the apocalypse?
Jan 29, 2015, 12:01 AM EST
The good news is that Walker may return in as little as six weeks, which means Charlotte’s playoff chances should remain intact.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:15 PM EST
The Hall of Famer held the previous record with 33 points in a period, but did so before the three-point line was implemented.
Jan 28, 2015, 10:30 PM EST
This one’s not too bad.
Jan 28, 2015, 9:43 PM EST
Kyrie Irving should have had the NBA Jam announcer calling this game.
Jan 28, 2015, 8:50 PM EST
Barnes immediately played the victim card after receiving the fine, but the NBA (and the video) say otherwise.
- Dwyane Wade out indefinitely, says best case for his return is 2-3 weeks 0
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- Dwight Howard out at least two games with swelling in his knee 6
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Wednesday: Is this rock bottom for Oklahoma City? 14
- He’s on Fire! Kyrie Irving scores 55, knocks down game winning three (VIDEO) 54
- LeBron James out Wednesday vs. Blazers with wrist injury 6
- Home-court advantage means less than ever in NBA. Why? 18
- Nikola Mirotic’s unique style rewarding Bulls for waiting on him 17