Former Louisville Cardinals’ guard Russ Smith has been one of the biggest names in college basketball over the last few years.
However, with questions about his size and ability to play point guard at the next level, he likely won’t be a first round pick.
Smith recently had workouts with two of the NBA’s elite teams, the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, and looks like he could be a good fit with either team.
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders believes Smith is being underrated.
I’ve been saying for weeks that he’s underrated, but he’s really small (only 6’1″) and plays more like a shooting guard than a point. Those kinds of guys can work well in the NCAA, but on the NBA level it can prove to be a little more challenging to overcome. Smith is a great leader, though, and a really nice kid. I think his work ethic, his big program pedigree and championship resume make him a great second-round pick. I very much doubt he ends up in the first round, though, only because there are kids with higher ceilings (and taller bodies) that would make for a better pick.
Smith measured in at 6’0.75 and 160 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’3.5 at the NBA’s Scouting Combine. He averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 46.8% from the field, 38.7% from beyond the arc and 70.5% from the free throw line. He is ranked by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express as the 48th-best prospect in the draft and is projected to be selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 47th-overall pick in the second round of the draft.