5 Reasons Why Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart Will Be A Bust in the NBA
Five Reasons Why Marcus Smart Will Be A Bust in the NBA
Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Marcus Smart made headlines when he didn’t declare for the 2013 NBA Draft. Citing his desire to stay in school and work on parts of his game, Smart gave up the opportunity to be a sure-fire top-five pick. This season, he seems to be much improved, averaging 20.5 points, five rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
After getting off to a slow start, Smart made National headlines after an outstanding 39-point outpouring against the then No. 11 Memphis Tigers. He followed that performance up with a 25-point performance against South Florida, and a 30-point showing against Purdue.
However, his last two games have not been as successful, as he has registered 17 points against Butler and 12 against the now No. 21-ranked Memphis.
Citing his size and athleticism, analysts and scouts have raved at Smart’s abilities on the court, and he has drawn a lot of attention across the country. His newly-developed outside shot has been featured as well, which is one of the parts of his game that Smart acknowledged as needing work.
Right now, Smart is projected to be a top-five selection in next year’s NBA draft, and in the eyes of some experts, he might even eclipse the likes of Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle. I’ll tell you exactly why that would be a bad idea, and why Smart will be a complete bust at the next level. Here are the five reasons why Smart will be a major disappointment in the NBA.
5. What Position Will He Play?
Smart is not a ball-handler, as evidenced by his lack of assists and plethora of turnovers. At 6-foot-4, he is also short for a shooting guard, and doesn’t have the outside shooting ability to play on the wing. As far as I can tell, he can be a nice role player off the bench of any squad as a type of combo guard. I see his maximum potential being similar to that of Rodney Stuckey.
4. Free Throw Shooting Issues
A player like Smart has to be solid from the free throw line. Last year, he hit a decent 77.7 percent of his shots from the charity stripe. This season, he is shooting 65.7 percent from the line. That simply won’t cut it.
Smart averages 3.6 assists per game and 3.1 turnovers per game, good for a 29-to-25 assist-to-turnover ratio. On a squad filled with talented players, these numbers are embarrassing. He clearly tries to force the ball when he decides to pass. He is averaging 14.1 field goal attempts per game this season, up from 11.3 last year.
2. Lack Of Outside Shooting Ability
Last year, Smart shot 29 percent from 3-point range. This season, he is shooting 34 percent. Averaging 5.9 3-point attempts per game, he has only averaged making two of those attempts. He will have to develop more of an outside shot, because he will not be able to use his athleticism in the pros as much as he currently can. It will be more of an even playing field.
Smart has scored 11, 14, 16, 39, 25, 30, 17 and 12 points in his games this season. He has scored less than expected against bad teams, and more than expected against better teams. He has had four games with two or less turnovers, one with three, but three games with five turnovers. Inconsistency is a huge red flag when looking at prospects, and Smart has certainly been just that so far.