A year ago at the time, it looked like Oklahoma State Cowboys’ point guard Marcus Smart was going to be the first point guard selected in the 2013 Draft. Several teams, including the Orlando Magic, who held the #2 overall pick, were eyeing Smart.
Instead, Smart decided to return to school.
Although Smart will still be a lottery pick, there is near universal agreement that Australian point guard Dante Exum, not Smart, is the top point guard in the 2014 Draft.
Exum tops the rankings of A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast Sports New England.
1. Dante Exum, 6-6, 185, Australia:
* Has great size for an NBA point guard
* A 6-9 wingspan + better-than-average lateral quickness = elite defender potential.
* Part of the “High Basketball IQ” family
* Moves well on the floor even when he doesn’t have the ball.
* Perimeter shooting inconsistent; has little to no arc on his shot.
* Shot selection not great, too often takes forced shots.
* Physical strength needs work.
2. Marcus Smart, 6-4, 200, Oklahoma State
* Strong upper body, finishes well after drawing contact
* Aggressive attacking the rim off the dribble
* Great at getting to the free throw line
* Has NBA-body, defensive mentality
* Inconsistent perimeter shooter
* Shot selection questionable
* Highly competitive, but has the reputation of being a “hot head.”
* Turnover prone
Tyler Ennis of the Syracuse Orange, Shabazz Napier of the Connecticut Huskies and Elfrid Payton of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns round out the top five.