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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Oklahoma State G Marcus Smart

As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics [1] when they make their two selections in the first round.


Position: Guard
School: Oklahoma State
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 227 pounds
Wingspan: 6-foot-9

Key 2013-14 stats: 18 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists

Scouting report: Smart is one of the best perimeter defenders in this year’€™s class. He’€™s a total bully on-ball and rarely allows ball-handlers to get by him. It’€™s a virtual lock that NBA teams will be able to assign him to an opponent’€™s best player with the mission of locking them down. Smart also racks up steals at a high rate because of his intelligent off-ball defense, on-point rotations and instincts.

Smart’€™s bulldog mentality also applies to the offensive end, where he powers his way to the rim with the ball and draws fouls on over half of his field goal attempts. He’€™s so skilled at finding space and scoring near the rim, but there are concerns about his perimeter jumper. He has a bit of a clunky form and may struggle shooting at the beginning of his career, but his penetration skills may be good enough to compensate.

In terms of position, Smart can clearly defend point and shooting guards, but where he’€™ll play on offense is up in the air. He lacks the true point guard skills in that he’€™s an average passer, but that’€™s the case for so many point guards in today’€™s NBA. Since he’€™s only 6-foot-3, he’€™ll probably mostly play point and flourish.

How he fits: Drafting Smart would give the Celtics [1] “time.” How’€™s that? They wouldn’t be forced to make a decision between Avery Bradley [2] and Jeff Green [3] the way they might if they draft a wing. Bringing Smart to Boston allows him to slide in behind both Bradley and Rajon Rondo [4], giving the Celtics [1] front office time to make a decision on Rondo’€™s future with the team.

Related articles:

Dean On Draft [5]: Marcus Smart vs. Andrew Wiggins: Who was the best Big 12 perimeter defender?

Fansided [6]: NBA Draft 2014: Forget Dante Exum, what about Marcus Smart?

Video: Here is a video of Smart’€™s pre-draft workout.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics [1] for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA [7].)