The last time I scouted a guard for the Bobcats for the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft, a loyal reader screamed bloody murder in regards to the mere possibility of Charlotte adding another guard when it’s painfully obvious their biggest need is down low.
That may be true, but it’s finally time to take a look at Oklahoma State product Marcus Smart for two reasons: First, he’s a heck of a prospect who at the moment stands a great chance at being a top-five pick. And secondly, as solid as Kemba Walker has been in his second season, no one else on the Bobcats at the guard position has been so awesome that they can’t be replaced or upgraded upon.
After all, NBA GM’s won’t waste much time in telling you that the draft is largely about upside, and usually that line of thinking can force you to bypass a need and simply draft the best player available.
Consider this: If you already have Derrick Rose on your roster and badly need a center, are you going to pass on a Chris Paul just to get the best available center – say, Shawn Bradley? It’s an extreme example, but you get the point. And with that, just for the fun of it, we’ll take a close look at Smart and see what all the fuss is about.
Marcus Smart’s Strengths
Clutch performer who thrives on taking games over late. Great leader with excellent vision and awareness. Packages great size and fluidity for the PG position, but has the ability to play off guard, as well. Thick, strong and tough. Won’t be pushed around at the next level. Has imposing size and deceptive speed. Can get to the rim at will and can finish in a variety of ways. Has a nice handle and a slew of fakes and hesitation moves. Really polished on the offensive end. Solid defender. Anticipates well and uses proper angles. Has been very impressive in just one year of college ball. Has an extremely high ceiling.
Marcus Smart’s Weaknesses
Came up a bit small in the NCAA tourney. Still developing as a true point guard. Better when he’s the go-to scorer, rather than getting others involved. Not a freak athlete. Lacks experience, but that also works in his favor. Doesn’t yet have an outside jumper you can rely on. Needs to work on taking better care of the ball. Can force the issue on offense at times. Not the most efficient player. Needs to work on shot selection and re-hash some of the fundamentals of the game on both ends.
Should the Bobcats Draft Marcus Smart?
He’s a heck of a talent, but no, they shouldn’t. He’s probably the better player than most of the other bigs, but it’s not by all that much. One way or another, Charlotte needs to make a serious change in the paint, and it needs to be a positive one – and fast. I like several of the big men that will be available to them, and think they should go big, no matter what. I won’t scoff at them drafting Smart due to his talent, but it’s a luxury, not a necessity.