clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA Draft 2014: ESPN analysts divided of pairing Marcus Smart with Victor Oladipo

New, comments

A five-person panel analyzed how the two dynamic guards might fit in Orlando's backcourt, but didn't come to a clear consensus.

Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The large talent pool in the 2014 NBA Draft has made it a hot topic, even only at the midpoint of the 2013/14 NBA season. To provide insight into how some of the top prospects might fit on the league's worst teams, ESPN Insider empaneled five experts Monday. One of the subjects they discussed, based on one Draft Lottery projection, is how Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart might fit on the Orlando Magic, and specifically alongside rookie guard Victor Oladipo. In this projection, the Magic select Smart fourth overall in 2014.

Kevin Pelton is bullish on the idea, saying that it "would have the potential to be the NBA's best defensive backcourt." Not all of his colleagues agree: both Jeff Goodman and Bradford Doolittle don't like the fit, with Goodman going as far as to say Orlando would have to trade Smart. Doolittle suggests that Andrew Wiggins would make a great teammate for Oladipo due to his combination of "length and shooting ability." In this simulation, however, Wiggins went second overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Smart is averaging 17.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.6 steals in his sophomore season as a Cowboy. He's shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 32.2 percent from three-point distance. Though both those figures represent improvements over his freshman campaign, ESPN's Amin Elhassan believes that he'd have to become a more reliable shooter in order to effectively play alongside Oladipo, who himself struggles with perimeter shooting.

Through Sunday's games, the Magic own the league's second-worst record. Were the Draft Lottery held based on the league's standings entering Monday, Orlando could not pick lower than fifth.