Marcus Smart stunned many when he decided to stay in school rather than declare for the 2013 NBA Draft following his spectacular freshman season. None were more upset than the Orlando Magic, who will have the most ping-pong balls in this year's lottery.
Orlando would have taken Smart if they had won the lottery, according to ESPN's Chad Ford:
According to sources, Orlando had its heart set on Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart until he broke its heart when he decided to stay in college. While the Magic need just about everything, point guard might be their biggest area of need.
Smart's ability to run point at 6'4, 225 pounds made him one of the most intriguing prospects in college basketball this season. Few expected him to return to school after he won the Big 12 Player of the Year Award as a freshman, averaging 15 points, six rebounds and four assists on 40 percent shooting.
Without Smart in the draft, Orlando could be left with a difficult decision if they end up in the top 3. The other two point guards projected to go in the lottery -- Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams -- don't have Smart's upside, while the frontcourt players available -- Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett, Alex Len -- are all somewhat of an awkward fit with the young players they already have on their roster.
As a small-market franchise unlikely to be a free-agent destination, the Magic can ill afford to make a mistake at the top of the draft. New GM Rob Hennigan has received rave reviews for his handling of the job in the wake of Dwight Howard's decision to leave town, but the decisions he makes in the next few months could end up making or breaking his tenure in Orlando.