Believe it or not, the shoving incident might not hurt Marcus Smart when it comes to his draft stock, but other issues which have to with his inability to improve as a shooter and certain size problems that might get in the way when he goes into the NBA seem a bit more relevant to scouts getting their notes ready for the draft.
When this season began, Smart was the number one point guard on most mocks’ boards. Over the last few months, he’s been surpassed by Dante Exum, who is another combo guard but bigger and suddenly more exciting than Smart is, even though he’s a bigger gamble after not playing College Basketball, most recently winning a high school championship in Australia.
The high riser among point guards is Tyler Ennis of Syracuse, who not a lot of people noticed when this season began, but all of a sudden seems like a much better choice than Smart.
So why is Smart taking such a hit when it comes to the draft, and might eventually be headed towards a draft day slide? Some people point out that not too many teams in the NBA actually need a point guard, so spending a first-round pick on a guy who needs a lot of polishing when it comes to his shooting and might be a risk defensively can hurt him. Both the Orlando Magic and the Milwaukee Bucks are among the potential lottery teams in need of a point guard, and the Los Angeles Lakers are another one worth considering. However, the trend in the NBA right now is length and shooting. Smart is a lot of things, but he isn’t long, and his shooting (42.2% from the field, 28% from beyond the arc) hasn’t really improved in his second season with the Cowboys.
Smart reminds many of Russell Westbrook. He also seems to have the same kind of fire Westbrook has, which sometimes gets the best of him. Chris Paul kicked a cameraman when he played at Wake Forest and that didn’t hurt him at all. The shoving incident, the flopping; Smart might be immature, but he’s not doing something that out of the ordinary to make teams overlook his talent. His issues with certain fundamentals and the general demand for point guards are the real reason he isn’t as popular with the mocks as before.