Prior to this past collegiate basketball season, many predicted/expected Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart to be the top pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA draft. After all, he returned to school for his second season, forgoing a likely top three selection the year prior.
However, as the season progressed, things went from shaky to bad to worse for Smart and Oklahoma State. His season and the Cowboys’ season was a borderline disaster, even though they did sneak into the NCAA Tournament. The problems that came out of the season for Smart specifically were targeting two areas: his maturity and his shooting.
There were a few incidents during the year that brought his maturing and leadership into question. However, people all over the league believe Marcus is a good kid and born leader. The more pressing matter, for NBA scouts and execs, was his shooting touch, which was plain awful.
Smart shot under 30 percent from three and barely cracked 40 percent from the floor in what was supposed to be his next-step season. Instead, it seemed like a step back. However, according to a conversation ESPN’s Chad Ford had with one GM, the shot is not as big of a concern as people are making it out to be.
“I don’t think Marcus is a bad shooter. I think his form looks pretty good and you see it will go in when he’s squared and taking good shots. I think the issue is that Marcus took a lot of bad shots. He was trying to do too much at Oklahoma State. If he can trust his teammates in the NBA and be a leader, I think he’ll be just fine as a shooter. Shot selection is the key for him.”
This anonymous GM believes, as happens for many NBA prospects, that Smart’s game will get better as his competition and teammates get better. Rather than carrying a support cast and forcing every attempt, Smart will be able to play and convert shots within the framework of the offense in the NBA.
This is plausible and sound logic. During his workout, Smart’s shot was falling from all over according to Ford.