NBA Position: PG
Hometown: Flower Mound, TX
High School: Oak Hill Academy
Ceiling: Baron Davis
Basement: Marcus Banks
- Big, Strong Guard
- High Motor
- Strong Finisher
- Improved Play-Maker
- Quality Rebounder
- Combo Guard
- Inconsistent Shooter
- Tweener; PG or SG?
This summer Marcus Smart has looked to be in much better overall basketball shape than throughout his freshman year. He was never “out of shape,” but did appear to carry some extra weight throughout the season.
While playing in the FIBA U20 Championships this summer and then in his dunk-off with Julius Randle, Smart seems to be in elite shape and ready to improve his sophomore year.
As the season progressed last year it seemed that towards the end of games Smart would lose some of that burst and explosiveness that he had through the first 20-30 minutes. Early in games Smart would dominate physically with his strength, speed, and overall athleticism for the point guard position.
Last year Smart played at 220-225 lbs. and could be more explosive and equally as bruising at 210-215 with better stamina.
Before deciding to return to college for his sophomore year Smart was considered a Top 3 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and one of the better big point guards to come into the league in years. He plays with a bruising style that allows Smart to be a very diverse offensive threat on the block, in transition, and with the ball in his hands as a play-maker.
In the FIBA tournament as well as in college Smart consistently found himself in foul trouble either from over aggressively trying to make plays on both ends of the floor. He can get a head of steam barreling through defenders with the ball in his hands and play defense too much with his hands.
In the pick-and-roll and post-ups Smart ranked in the Top 30% according to Synergy Sports scoring 154 points on 40.6% shooting and 0.83 points per possession.
He was not dominant in either category, but is a unique bread in offensive player with his build (6-4 225 lbs) and the ability to be the primary play-maker every night. With his first step and burst Smart is able to get his defender on his hip and move them to the rim with him. He is not the quickest player at his position or possesses the most speed with the ball in his hands, but has a next gear that he utilizes to get to the second layer of the defense.
Smart is not a consistent shooter at this stage in his development. He is a 30.3% spot-up shooter, 22% coming off of screens, and in isolation shoots 30.8% from the field.
Shooting is an aspect of Smart’s game that he will need to continue to develop to become a more effective offensive player. His form and shooting stroke is not “broken” and looks to have good overall mechanics. He shoots the ball at a high point in the release and gets the ball out at a relatively high point. With repetition and coaching he can become a more consistent shooter from three-point range.
Smart is already a quality mid-range shooter in motion when attacking the rim with the ball. He can shoot the ball in the 12-15 foot range well and is able to absorb contact to finish through getting to the line.
As a play-maker Smart is not the best pure passer, but is capable of making plays with his strength and size getting to the second level of the defense. He probes the defense looking to make plays for others and is a very unselfish ball-handler.
Defensively Smart has the most potential at the next level. He is a very instinctual defender that can make his man work on the ball and off the ball creates turnovers in passing lanes.
With his size and strength Smart is able to defend multiple positions. He has great body control and footwork that allows him to move well with his man on or off the ball. On the ball he has quick hands that that he uses to get on his man and force turnovers. Off the ball he tracks the ball well while shadowing his man making plays on the ball and timely double-teams to force turnovers.
Smart has the potential to be a very good, versatile, and impact defender at the next level. He is still developing, but that is the one part of his game that will translate to the NBA level with the most ease.
Overall Smart is a pass-first play-maker at the point guard position that uses his size to get into the paint to make plays for himself and others. With the ball in his hands Smart is capable of making plays and scoring at a high level. So far in his career conditioning, shooting, and foul trouble have been the main weaknesses of Smart, all of which he can or already has shown improvement with. On the defensive end he has the potential to be an elite defender and play-maker. His size allows him to play two positions, although his natural position is point guard, Smart can play either backcourt position with good versatility.