NBA Draft Prospect Match-up: Dante Exum vs. Marcus Smart

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Smart – The obvious yellow flag for Marcus Smart is his incident. For the “winning attitude” Smart is lauded for, he has a history of flopping and a known history of letting the moment get the best of him. It’s certainly a criticism that has been and will be blown out of proportion, but it exists nonetheless.
From an offensive standpoint, while he has a pure looking shot, it’s inconsistent and streaky. He was a 40% field goal shooter and an ugly 29% from three-point range. Shots can certainly be improved and corrected at the next level, but it remains a knock that needs to be corrected. As we touched on earlier, Smart isn’t a great athlete. While he has adapted, the level of athleticism in the NBA is a whole other level compared to college.

Exum – While scouts love it, potential has been the downfall of many a prospect in the NBA. The good news is Exum has loads and loads of it. The bad news is that there is lots of speculation surrounding him, as I previously discussed. As strong as Smart is, Exum is that weak. In reality, they are mirror opposites of one another. Where has Smart lacks athleticism, Exum is weak.

Offensively, the same questions arise about Exum that do about Smart, namely that he doesn’t have much of a jumper. He neither has a consistent jumper nor does he have great shot selection. Defensively, while he may be fast and quick, his weakness will lead to him struggling against bigger, tougher opponents. Unlike Smart, he won’t succeed as well guarding shooting guards or small forwards.