Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Marcus Smart’s Draft Stock Unlikely to Be Impacted by Incident (UPDATED)
Marcus Smart’s draft stock is unlikely to be impacted much by Saturday night’s incident in which Texas Tech booster Jeff Orr allegedly used the N word, but says he called Smart a “piece of crap.”
Smart, who was suspended three games for the incident, could have been the No. 2 pick had he come out last season but opted to return for his sophomore season. Both DraftExpress.com and Chad Ford have him at No. 6.
“I really do not think so if he handles the suspension in the proper way,” one former NBA executive told SNY.tv. “He is frustrated with the season and I believe that had a lot to do with his outburst.
“No excuse for his actions but how he addresses it will determine whether he drops at all. If he does slip it will not be significant.”
Oklahoma State (16-7, 4-6 Big 12) has lost four in a row and five of six.
Smart is averaging 17.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 42 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3.
“He has struggled to shoot the ball,” the former exec said. “Still, it is about his toughness, leadership, defensive intensity and he has a winning mentality which has not changed.”
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com concurred.
“I don’t think this incident will affect his stock much either way,” he said. “More concerning is the way he’s been playing the last month or so. That could absolutely damage his stock.”
A veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv the incident wouldn’t have any impact on Smart’s stock.
“None,” he said.
“The last five games he has struggled some but he will go in the Top 10 and be fine.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.