By Ed Morgans @writered21 on April 3, 2014
It was an up and down year at Oklahoma State for Marcus Smart. The 6-foot-4 sophomore guard led the Cowboys in scoring and assists, and was second in rebounding. However, his off-court shoving incident at Texas Tech marred his year, cost him games, and hurt his team. For a variety of reasons, now is the right time for Smart to enter the NBA Draft.
Here are five reasons why he should enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
Any other player in the country, regardless of what year they are, would be a hot commodity for the NBA Draft if they put up 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. If Smart comes back, how much is he really going to improve his numbers in the eyes of NBA scouts?
While the suspension hurts him some on the next level, his production isn't going to get better with another year in Stillwater.
If Smart comes back to Oklahoma State as a junior, the narrative is going to be how he has come back from shoving a fan in a road game at Texas Tech this season, for which he was suspended three games. It should be on how solid a season Smart had and what he can do at the next level.
Smart was a lot, well, smarter late in the year, and NBA teams know that now is the time for him to move on.
A 6-foot-4, 220 pound frame isn't bad for a player likely to be a two-guard in the NBA. For him to really flourish, however, Smart needs to get into an NBA strength and conditioning program, add a bit of muscle, and get the experience of working against NBA defenses each night.
Smart won't gain anything by beating up on the likes of TCU for another year.
Smart isn't likely to be a top-5 pick in the NBA Draft, but he'd be a nice pickup late among the Lottery selections toward the middle of the first round. Think of a team like the New Orleans Pelicans, who could pair Smart in the backcourt with post Anthony Davis, who has turned into one of the league's best players this season.
As good as Smart was for most of the season, the Cowboys still finished 8-10 in the Big 12 and have way too much ground to make up on Kansas and the other teams at the top of the conference. If Oklahoma State can't contend for the Big 12 title with Smart as a key figure, then he should do what's best for him individually and enter the NBA Draft.
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