Former Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart would love to be a top-four pick in June 26′s NBA Draft.
He’d love to be a top-six pick, too. But No. 5?
The saga started Sunday when Smart, who ESPN’s WARP metric measured as the top player in this year’s draft class, indicated on Twitter the Jazz weren’t interested in him. Smart quickly deleted the Tweet, but not in time to stop screenshots from spreading.
— I Am A Utah Jazz Fan (@IAmAUtahJazzFan) June 16, 2014
Wednesday, Walt Perrin — Utah’s vice president of player personnel — told media the Jazz do indeed have interest in Smart, but Smart hasn’t reciprocated.
“I’ve talked to his agent four times trying to get Marcus in,” Perrin said. “Whatever the reason that they don’t want Marcus to come in, that’s on them.”
So it appears Smart is dodging the Jazz, and if that’s the case, it’s tough to argue with Smart and his agent, Lee Melchioni.
Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid are virtual locks to be the top three off the board in some order, although Embiid’s recent right foot injury could change that.
Still, the Orlando Magic has pick No. 4, and could use a point guard.
But many experts predict they’ll go with Australian prospect Dante Exum. If that’s the case and Jazz pass on Smart at No. 5, there’s a strong chance he could go to the Boston Celtics at No. 6 or the Los Angeles Lakers at No 7. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who own the No. 1 pick, are reportedly bringing in Exum for a workout.
Smart refusing to work out with the Jazz might not be a great PR move, but it could end up being an excellent career move if he lands with one of the NBA’s best franchises.
Whatever happens, this year’s NBA draft is sure to be eventful — enough so that Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford wouldn’t so much as guess where Smart and fellow OSU guard Markel Brown will end up. Brown reportedly worked out for the Oklahoma City Thunder last week.
“This draft is probably as crazy of a draft as we’ve had in a long time,” Ford told The Oklahoman on Wednesday. “I couldn’t even begin to predict where they’ll go.”