In the end, it all worked out for Marcus Smart. After what was a tumultuous final season at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys star was selected sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2014 NBA draft.
Many wondered whether or not Smart had made a mistake by returning to Stillwater. Through it all, he still went in the lottery and is in a position to thrive in Boston. He can learn from one of the league's best in Rajon Rondo.
Smart is the highest OSU player drafted since Bryant Reeves in 1995 and the highest point guard drafted by the Celtics ever, per ESPN Stats & Info:
The Boston Globe provided a handy scouting report for the Celtics' newest asset:
USA Today's Eric Prisbell thinks Smart will be a great fit for Boston:
Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated was also a big fan of the selection:
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports Network doesn't think the rookie will have any trouble ingratiating himself with the fanbase, either:
One of the knocks on Smart is that he isn't a great shooter. Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk countered that Smart isn't necessarily a bad shooter but more that his shot selection is the problem:
Smart may not have long to learn from Rondo, though. Upon his selection, the clock likely began on a trade that would send the Celtics star out of town. With Smart, Rondo and Avery Bradley on the roster, the Celtics are in a position where they could offload their All-Star point guard.
ESPN's SportsNation ventured that the veteran wasn't exactly thrilled with how Boston handled its first pick:
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix wondered if Smart does signal the end of Rondo in Boston:
ESPN's Jeff Goodman questioned whether a Smart-Rondo backcourt could succeed:
The Celtics now have some flexibility with their personnel, and what they do with Rondo will be one of the ongoing storylines this offseason. Whatever Boston decides, the franchise looks to be headed in the right direction after the addition of Smart.
Celtics fans may have to withstand another year or two without the playoffs, but the team is amassing some young talent with which to build upon for the future.