The news that Marcus Smart intends to return to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, which Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported on Tuesday night, surprised NBA fans and observers who expected the combo guard to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. And perhaps Smart's decision to return to Stillwater affects no other team more than it affects the Orlando Magic: as ESPN Insider Chad Ford writes, the Magic "would've seriously considered" drafting Smart if they had the first overall pick in the Draft.
Smart's appeal to Orlando is obvious. Rookie general manager Rob Hennigan and first-year coach Jacque Vaughn have placed a premium on high-character players who work hard, which attributes Smart has. From a roster standpoint, Orlando needs to bolster its backcourt, given that it already boasts a strong collection of young frontcourt players in Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, and Nik Vučević.
Given Smart's fit with Orlando, Ford says the Magic are "probably" the "biggest loser" now that he's set to return to school.