Marcus Smart could be on Sixers' draft radar

Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart
Posted: June 22, 2014

As Thursday's NBA draft approaches, the 76ers appear to be paying close attention to Marcus Smart.

And that's just fine with the point guard out of Oklahoma State.

"I think I will fit in well," Smart said at last month's NBA Combine in Chicago. "You know the Sixers are slacking in some areas and the point guard role is one of them.

"They are looking for that type of leadership and toughness that will come in and handle it and take control of it."

The Sixers already have a solid point guard in rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams. But the Sixers are considering trading him in order to acquire another draft pick to sandwich between their third and 10th selections in the first round, according to reports.

ESPN reported that the Lakers could trade point guard Steve Nash and their No. 7 pick to the Sixers for Carter-Williams and power forward Thaddeus Young. The Sixers would then take Dante Exum, a 6-foot-6 point guard from Australia, with the third pick.

Yahoo Sports reported on Friday that Smart and Exum will have individual workouts with the Sixers on Sunday.

Smart could be a consolation prize with the seventh pick if the Sixers don't get Exum at No. 3.

The 6-3, 237-pounder said his agent Lee Melchionni "told me the Sixers really like me and they like me as a player."

It's hard not to like what Smart did during his two seasons with the Cowboys. He averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists last season. Smart was a two-time, first-team all-Big 12 selection and was the conference's freshman of the year.

The Texas native's ability to deal with adverse situations could be a concern.

Smart and a Texas Tech fan exchanged words moments before Smart shoved the fan during a game at Texas Tech last season. Smart said later that the fan had used a racial slur, which the fan denied.

He received a technical foul when it happened and then a three-game suspension from the conference.

He said the incident came up during his meetings with NBA personnel at the combine.

"I told them that's something that happened that's in the past," Smart said. "I'm not proud of it. But I'm trying to move on from that. I've got bigger and better things I'm looking forward to in my life. If I'm too busy looking in the past, how can I see what's in front of me with the future?"

Smart realizes that he may have lost money by staying in college an extra season. He was a projected top-five pick last year.

"I was the first person in my family to go to college. It was interesting, me going back and enjoying my life before I hit the NBA, the business aspect of it," he said. "A lot of people don't understand that."


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

inquirer.com/deepsixer

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