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Marcus Smart declares for 2014 NBA Draft

Johnathan Loyd, Marcus Smart

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart (33) shoots against Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, March 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)


Marcus Smart – a potential No. 1 pick and top-10 lock – made the surprising decision to forgo the 2013 NBA Draft and return to Oklahoma State. Though he says he doesn’t regret it, Smart won’t be repeating that choice next year.

Marcus J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart doesn’t regret not entering this year’s NBA draft, but he also doesn’t plan to pass on the next one.

“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.”

It’s unfortunate Smart has to worry so much about injury. Popularly projected to be the No. 2 by the Magic before withdrawing from the draft, he could have gotten the $9.7 million guaranteed Victor Oladipo will make the next two years.

Smart obviously wanted to stay at Oklahoma State for whatever reason, but it’s a shame he’s forced to make such all-or-nothing choice, even considering his insurance options. The NCAA’s outdated and immoral rules put Smart in that bind.

I hope his choice for this year’s draft turns out well, and I’m relieved his choice for next year’s draft will eliminate a substantial amount of risk.