Mar 12, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Marcus Smart (33) looks to pass against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first half in the first round of the Big 12 Conference tournament at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft 2014: Forget Dante Exum, What About Marcus Smart?

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When the Michael Carter-Williams trade rumors started to run rampant this past week, the main player in discussions was Dante Exum. With neither player having a jumper, it’s proposed that the Sixers would trade away Michael Carter-Williams if they selected Dante Exum with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

This is popular with some people and unpopular with some others, with great reasons on both ends. However, the two point guard lineup is making it’s way back into the NBA; it might become the new “wildcat” offense of the NBA. Having two playmakers in the back court should be looked upon as a positive. Having a deadeye shooter on the wings like Klay Thompson is wonderful, but isn’t a reality for a lot of teams. Instead of filling in that two guard role with a below average shooting guard, a dying breed in the NBA, why not throw two point guards out there?

It’s looking that Jabari Parker might be there at No. 3, which makes selecting Exum not applicable anymore. The 76ers would select Jabari Parker immediately.

Well, anyone reading this should be well aware that the 76ers possess two valuable trade assets in the NBA Draft; the No. 10 overall pick and Thaddeus Young. There has been rumors about the Sixers moving up a few spots with those two assets, but what player would make it worth it?

Marcus Smart, point guard from Oklahoma State. This thought came to my mind as I was taking part in the Crabdribbles.com 2014 NBA Mock Draft. I selected Jabari Parker with the No. 3 pick and as the draft was inching closer to the 10th selection, I noticed that Marcus Smart was still on the board.

I made some imaginary phone calls and shipped the No. 10 selection and Thaddeus Young for the No. 9 selection and selected Marcus Smart. After the trade was approved, I found out that Smart probably would have fell to me at No. 10, but I wasn’t willing to take that risk; I wanted Smart in the Sixers back court. I also attempted to ship MCW several times, but it was more to see what  I could get for him rather than wanting to get rid of him.

Back to the topic, a backcourt of Marcus Smart and Michael Carter-Williams hasn’t been discussed, yet it should.

This CBS Sports Mock Draft has Gary Parrish taking Marcus Smart with the No. 7 pick owned by the Lakers, Zach Harper has Smart going to the Kings with the No. 8 pick, and Matt Moore has Smart going to Boston with the No. 6 selection. Keep in mind that the Sacramento Kings put the No. 8 pick on the trading block as soon as the lottery ended.

With the assets the Sixers have, obtaining a lottery pick between No. 6 and No. 8 is very attainable, especially if Marcus Smart is on the board. Both the Kings and Celtics don’t have the need for a point guard, although they could be interested in running the two point guard lineup that’s being mentioned here. However, I really believe this theory can come true if Smart slips to the No. 8 selection, which is possible with Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, and Julius Randle all being projected to be selected in that same range.

The difference between Marcus Smart and Dante Exum is the fact that Smart has the ability to stretch the floor. Also, the 76ers could keep Michael Carter-Williams with the selection of Smart.

Marcus Smart stands at 6-foot-3 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan. He’s not as tall as Exum, but he is a playmaker. Smart shot 30 percent from deep last season, which isn’t the best, but Smart took over five three-point attempts per game. Meaning that opponents still have to respect his shot from deep, because he will launch it.

That video shows Marcus Smart nailing two three-pointers in a row during a game against TCU this season. Smart finished 5-for-9 from deep during that game and hit four three-pointers in a row. It’s only a one game example, but it shows that Smart does have the ability to hit shots from deep.

Besides the shooting from deep, Smart averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. Adding Marcus Smart to the back court with Michael Carter-Williams would put two guards that have the ability to distribute and rebound at the same time. Imagine these two in transition, it will be a nightmare for opposing teams. At 227 lbs pounds, Smart is a very strong point guard, which would complement the much lankier Michael Carter-Williams. Per DraftExpress, Smart finished 57 percent of his shots around the rim in the half-court last season, showing the ability to use his bulldog sized frame to finish at the rim.

Michael Carter-Williams and Marcus Smart, could it be a match made in heaven or a nightmare from the deep depths of hell…

What do you think?

 

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Tags: 76ers Michael Carter-Williams Philadelphia 76ers

  • mike hogan

    Trading two valuable assets to move up one spot to draft a shorter, less accurate version of Gary Harris demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the draft process and a glaring example of incompetent player evaluations. Sam Hinkie you ain’t…thank goodness

    • jveeuion

      You were right until the gary harris part, Smart is nothing like him.

  • Llaarryy

    Re the comparison between Smart and Exum, clearly Smart is more of a bird in the hand, especially on defense (something the Sixers lack even more than offense). There’s tons more evidence that he will slide into being a decent NBA defender than Exum has.

    On the other hand, Exum has more overall upside. Plus there’s the Aussie connection. Brown already misses Patty Mills and I have no doubt he’s harboring silent criticisms of Hinkie for not bringing in Matt Dellavedova as an undrafted guy.

    Ultimately, do I think Smart is worth trading up for? I tend to say no. If it takes Thad Young to move up a slot or two, I’m going to expect the other side to fork over at least one future No. 1 pick that barely protected (like the Pelicans pick was).

  • tk76

    Shooting a lot does not make poor shooting better. It just shows poor shot selection.

  • IDJazzman

    I’m guessing that Smart will become a better shooter in the NBA. He currently has a respectable FT shooting percentage at 75%, which tells me he has touch. I would rather the Jazz took Vonleh at #5, but I bet the Jazz take Smart at #5. I think there is even odds that Smart goes to the Magic at #4, because Exum can be anything from a bust to gold and a lot of GMs are not willing to risk their job or reputation on a bust. Smart’s game will translate to the NBA, that is worth something.