If you got a chance to read our editor Josh Haslem’s article the other day, he gave you a little history about the NBA Draft Lottery. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you should.
Currently the Jazz have a winning percentage of .167, which is worst in the NBA. According to the history, having the worst record in the NBA does not guarantee you the #1 pick. The majority of the time the pick is #2-#4. If the Jazz happen to miss out on Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle, there is another player in this draft that I think is just too good to pass on.
Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart is off to a fantastic start this season. So far, he is averaging 20.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and 3.6 apg while shooting 46% from the field. The Cowboy’s guard has upped his averages over the last 5 games, putting up 24.6 points and 5.4 rebounds and shooting 47%.
Not only has Smart been effective on offense to start the season, he has been very good on the defensive end. Smart is averaging 3.0 steals per game to start the season.
I don’t think you can pass on him. Smart is a 6’4″, 220 pound guard that can be an explosive player in the league. In the Oklahoma State offense, Smart is listed as the point guard. However, if you have watched the Cowboys play this season, Smart spends the majority of his time on the court playing off the ball in more of a shooting guard role. If the Jazz miss out on any of the top 3, Smart could be a great fit.
The problem the Jazz have had so far this season, is they haven’t seen the growth I think they would like to so far out of Alec Burks. Burks can be a fantastic 6th man for the Jazz. He is explosive and knows how to get to the basket and draw fouls. However, to start the season, he has struggled to find any sort of offense. If they can find a way to get Smart and keep Burks, that would be a great situation for the Jazz. Though, it seems that would be very hard for them to do.
Drafting Smart and inserting him into the starting lineup at the shooting guard position, moves Gordon Hayward back to small forward. It also takes a lot of pressure off of Hayward to play the point forward role. It gives him more of a chance to come off curls and knock down open shots instead of trying to set other guys up. It also will give Trey Burke a lot of better looks.
Don’t get me wrong. If Parker, Wiggins, or Randle is there you definitely should take them! I’m just not counting my chicks before they hatch. With the way the lottery has gone the past couple of years, the Jazz could be looking at drafting 4th or possibly 5th. That would be the area that we know the top 3 players will be gone, but Smart is still a dynamic player that can help build a franchise. If the Jazz are sitting at 4 or 5 and Marcus Smart is sitting in their lap, they need to take him. Jazz Nation shouldn’t be disappointed either.