Things have not come easy for Marcus Smart. He grinded his way up from a chubby kid from Flower Mound, Texas to future NBA player. The likely No. 2 pick in last year’s Draft by the Magic, he shocked college basketball and NBA circles by opting to return to Stillwater for his final campaign. He had a better year in his second go around with the Cowboys statistically, but went into the stands and had a substantial amount of damage control to do.
We got a chance to take a look at Smart during Wasserman Media Group’s pro day in L.A. Running around the gym talking to everyone with a smile on his face, it was clear that the circus that plagued him throughout his sophomore campaign was behind him and the guard was focused on getting his game right for the League.
“He’s moved on from college, understands what’s expected of him, and I think the agents have prepared him how to deal with scenarios like what happened in college,” Smart’s trainer Fred Cofield told SLAM. “They’ve discussed things so much and he’s moved on while accepting responsibility. Now he can concentrate on basketball and shooting.”
The growth that Smart made in his J was evident throughout the hour and a half long workout that we took in. While he still has a hitch in his shot, he was lights out during his workout. Both from the move and off of the dribble, he connected at a high rate. Marcus smoothly transitioned to the NBA three-point line and definitely made some legit progress shooting the ball, the primary focus of his pre-Draft training.
“The thing that people talk about is him shooting the ball and as you saw at his pro day, he’s working at it,” Cofield said. “If you look at him, he’s a physical specimen. The kid is so strong and gifted.”
At 6-3 and nearly 230 pounds, Marcus will have the size to play either guard position for stretches next year. Joel Embiid’s recent foot injury opened up a lot of things for Smart. Considered to go somewhere between 5 and 10 before the injury, things may come full circle from last year, as the 20-year-old finds himself in the mix with Orlando at 4. Wherever he lands though, it’s clear that college is behind him and Marcus is looking to write the next chapter of his career in the League.