In his first NBA mock draft, ESPN's college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman has a big name missing from his top 10.
For the first time all season, it looks as if Marcus Smart's draft stock has taken a serious hit ... at least in one analyst's eyes. The Oklahoma State guard was projected as the top point guard coming into the 2014 NBA Draft, but Goodman has Australian export Dante Exum and even Syracuse freshman Tyler Ennis getting drafted ahead of Smart.
Goodman has Smart going No. 14 to the Memphis Grizzlies (wouldn't the Thunder hate to see that).
Goodman's reasoning for Smart's drop:
He was regarded as a high lottery pick a year ago, and his stock has dropped somewhat due to the incident at Texas Tech. But it's taken a more significant hit because his perimeter shot hasn't improved.
It could be just reactionary, as GMs and analysts will come around to Smart's body of work as the draft nears in June. But this is the first mock I've seen with Smart outside of the top seven, let alone the top 10.
ESPN's roundtable of basketball analysts and writers pondered about Smart's stock on Tuesday, with some saying Smart was OK regardless of his suspension.
From Tom Haberstroh: If anything, I'm guessing the incident confirms what teams already perceived about Smart: that he's intensely competitive and emotional. That could be seen as a plus, not a negative.
Chad Ford tends to agree, saying on his mid-day chat that Smart will still be sought after.
"I spoke with a ton of GMs and veteran scouts following the incident. None of them. I mean none of them actually thought it would hurt his draft stock long-term," Ford said. "Yes, in the current media cycle, he's taking hits. It will come again when he declares for the draft. But that's the media. The NBA guys want talent. Smart has a great reputations minus the past few weeks. No one thinks he's turned into Ron Artest suddenly. ... I think he goes somewhere between 6 and 10 which is where he's been slotted all year."