The fifth spot on Brew Hoop's 2014 NBA Draft Board has been claimed by Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State. Smart surprised many by electing to return to school for his sophomore season after being projected as a top-5 pick in last year's draft, and the debate over his decision never really went away. Smart has always been known for his hard-nosed style of play and visible on-court leadership, but that intensity may have gotten the best of him when a mild altercation with a Texas Tech fan resulted in a three-game suspension. Then again, depending on who was asked, bringing such passion to the game wasn't necessarily seen as a bad thing.
In strictly on-court terms, Smart is an athletic, aggressive ball-dominant guard with fantastic strength and solid-if-unspectacular size and length. He's sometimes viewed as a combo guard because of his average assist numbers, but Smart is definitely going to play best with the ball in his hands. He's great at getting to the rim where he can finish and draws lots of fouls, which help buoy his scoring efficiency. But that ties in to his biggest weakness--perimeter shooting. Smart made fewer than 30% of his three-point attempts in college but took those shots at a top-5 rate, relative to his usage. There's a good and bad side to that number. On one hand, his efficiency will likely improve if/when he cuts out some of those bad shots. On the other hand, he might never be more than an average shooter at best, a tough sell if he's going to be taking lots of shots. But the hope is that Smart's excellent work ethic will ensure he improves his game anywhere it's needed.
2014 Brew Hoop Draft Board
1. Joel Embiid - C, Kansas
2. Jabari Parker -F, Duke
3. Andrew Wiggins - G/F, Kansas
4. Dante Exum - G, Australia
5. Marcus Smart - PG, Oklahoma State
Voting for the #6 spot runs until Monday night.