Next great perimeter defender, per a couple scouts I talked to this week: Marcus Smart. All the tools. Scouts love how he embraces contact.
THE STRENGTH OF AN OX
THE AGILITY OF A DEER
The size, strength, wingspan, lateral quickness, and natural instincts. Smart got it all.
"He posted an impressive lane agility time of 10.82 seconds, and according to ESPN Stats & Info, that time was better than the times John Wall, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul put up when they were at the combine.
Those weren't the only impressive numbers for Smart. He posted a 33-inch vertical, according to Erik Horne from NewsOK.com, while measuring at just over 6'3" with a wingspan over 6'9". He bench pressed 185 pounds 19 times, according to Jonathan Givony from Draft Express, and point guards rarely get that many reps.
Those numbers have helped confirm what many already believed. Smart is a big guard that's also a terrific athlete, helping him on both sides of the court. Smart's numbers from last season support that claim, as he averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game."
SNEAK PEAK TESTIMONIALS:
Jared Sullinger - "I think the biggest thing that shocked me the most - everybody said how good of an offensive player he is - defensively he's just as good. I think that's a great attribute that he has, and the way he competes. He doesn't let loose balls get away from him. He's diving on loose balls, he's trying to take charges, he's doing it all."
Brad Stevens - "I couldn't have been happier with his first summer league game, and he was 2-for-8 (from the field) and 0-for-5 (from the 3-point arc). Because I really think he'll grow in his shot, I think that it's just something that will come over time. I think the biggest thing is, he just needs reps and belief. And we'll help him get there. At the end of the day, he just did so much defensively that is way beyond his years, not only physically but mentally. He's obviously been well-coached at multiple levels."
Jay Larranaga - "I'd say the first thing you notice right away is what a competitor he is, the level of intensity he brings to every play offensively and defensively. He's been a lot of fun to work with. I think we were very lucky we saw the leadership of Kevin Garnett, the leadership of Paul Pierce, and they lead by example more than anything else. So the example Marcus has set, even though he's a young player, is that he plays hard, he values defense, he values team play. You have to lead by example before you do anything else."
Bobby Gonzalez - "I did manage to watch the point guards a bit. Damian Lillard was disappointing, and there was a stretch where both Marcus Smart and Victor Oladipo of the Select Team flat-out took it to Wizards teammates John Wall and Bradley Beal...While there is a point guard battle going on with the national team, the Select Team had young point guards who also did some damage today, further stressing that the future of the point position in the NBA is in good hands with Marcus Smart and Trey Burke."
Sam Amico - "One player making an impression: Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart, and he's not even really trying out for Team USA. Instead, the No. 6 overall pick in the June draft is a member of the Select Team -- which has been put together for the purpose of pushing national team candidates in practice. But Smart has more than held his own while playing with and against the likes of Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) and Derrick Rose (Bulls)."
SOME CLAMP HIGHLIGHTS:"Coach K actually sent me a text that said [Celtics rookie guard] Marcus [Smart] was a fantastic player [with] the USA [select team] in Las Vegas," said Pagliuca. "That's great that Coach K mentioned what a great player he is.
League on notice. Smart will be clampin your favorite guards. Will go down as the best perimeter defender since Glove.