The Oklahoma City Thunder posses two first round draft picks in the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft, theirs and the Toronto Raptors’ (and possibly the Dallas Mavericks’ if it falls after pick No. 20).
The Thunder’s pick will be one of the last ones of the first round but the Raptors’ pick could fall in the top 10. Throw in Charlotte’s second round pick that now belongs to OKC too and the Thunder will be able to move up very high in this draft if they want to.
Thunder GM Sam Presti has been scouting Oklahoma State freshman guard Marcus Smart this season, according to The Oklahoman. Smart is averaging 13.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this season for the 12.4 Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Right now, ESPN’s Chad Ford has Marcus Smart No. 9 on his big board. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Smart is a strong, physical combo guard.
Smart is the kind of player that already has the body and physicality to play at the next level and could be a good fit on the Thunder roster alongside Russell Westbrook in the backcourt.
The Thunder are all about versatility and switching on defense which is something that would cater to Smart’s game. The Thunder could also use some more playmaking with their second unit with the departure of James Harden this season.
The 2013 NBA Draft class has been described as one of the weakest in years but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any good players to come from it. The top of the class is weak but someone like Smart in the middle of the first round could be a very good pick.
It’s not uncommon for teams to draft players that played their college ball nearby too. It’s easy for Presti to go scout Smart and that may make Presti lean more towards taking him when it comes to draft day.