One of the most glaring needs for the Lakers the past few seasons has been a starting point guard.
If the Lakers are unable to choose Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid come draft time, there are two solid point guard options available.
While one of them is Australian Dante Exum, the other will be playing in the NCAA tournament, and that is Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart.
To be a lead guard in the league these days, you need to be athletic. Smart is freakish in that regard.
He is a 6’4″, 220 pound monster who can get out in transition and finish over anyone. Smart gets up and down the court in a hurry, but always seems in control of the pace and not wild in the least bit.
As with you would want with any point guard, Smart can be very creative and isn’t hesitant to get his teammates involved. He isn’t in the mold of just a scoring point, but more so as a true one. This is perfect for the Lakers as Kobe will be coming back and Smart will have no problem getting him the ball where he likes it.
Off the dribble in a half court set, Smart can also get his own shot at any time. Though his jump shot is still developing, he is a menace in the paint and has a solid mid-range game.
Smart isn’t just a scorer, but is a competitor on both sides of the ball. He is a pesky defender who uses his feet well to stay in front of ball handlers and rebounds very well for a guard. This is huge for the Lakers since they play against tons of talented point guards in the West.
Some might say Smart’s biggest con is his attitude, but I would disagree. We all saw him push a fan in Lubbock, Texas, but he hasn’t been in any off-court drama other than that.
We may never actually know what was said between the fan and Smart, but Smart should expect to be heckled nightly for the entirety of his career.
On the court, Smart needs to continue working on his jump shot from outside. Though the percentages have gone up a bit, this is definitely his biggest weakness.
If the Lakers end up liking Smart more than Exum and can’t draft one of the big three, he would be a good pick at four.
Smart isn’t going to come in and save the Lakers by any means, but can be their starting point guard for the next 10 years and has the talent to be an All-Star.
To achieve this and be a good fit for the Lakers, Smart must continue to work on his jump shot. The rest of his game is ready to be a factor at the next level, and if his shot does improve, he would be a great fit for the Lakers in the 4-6 range.
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