Marcus Smart surprised everyone when he decided to return to Oklahoma St. for his sophomore season instead of heading to the NBA. While he does not regret his decision to forgo the NBA, Smart does not plan on making the same decision next summer.
The 6'4 point guard will enter the 2014 NBA Draft, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. He cannot officially declare for nearly nine months and will not be able to speak with any agents while still in college, although it is pretty clear that he has made up his mind.
"It's safe to say that if, by the grace of God I'm healthy and everything, this will be my last year at Oklahoma State," Smart said after USA Basketball's minicamp practice Tuesday at UNLV. "Nothing will change my mind on that. [Oklahoma State] understands. They didn't figure I was coming back this year. They were just as surprised as everyone else."
Smart was regarded as a probable top-five pick by most experts earlier this year, and he will begin the upcoming season as one of the favorites to win the Naismith Award, which is given to the nation's top player. After averaging 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game as a freshman, some feel he and teammate Markel Brown will make up the best collegiate backcourt in 2014.
Smart's expected decision to turn pro after this year only adds to the hype surrounding the 2014 draft class. Some NBA executives believe it is deeper and filled with more talent than the 2003 class, which saw LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh selected with four of the first five picks.