Boston Celtics first round pick Marcus Smart will get an opportunity to play with and against some of the NBA’s top players. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday, the Oklahoma State alum was among the invitees to the USA Basketball Select Team that will begin training in Las Vegas on July 28.
If he accepts the invitation, the opportunity will give the Celtics rookie a chance to learn from some of the best and could put Smart in position to considered for future USA teams. Smart will joining fellow 2014 NBA draftee Doug McDermott along with second-year players Victor Oladipo, Mason Plumlee and Tobias Harris on the select team, which primary role is to work out with the U.S. national team that will compete in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
The national team includes players like Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, Klay Thompson and Paul George amongst others. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will coach the 19-player roster. Krzyzewski will have the task of narrowing that roster down to 12, which will not include Smart or the other players on the select time. The experience would make Smart a more mature player, and will certainly give him some quality experience entering his rookie season with the Celtics.
Although it is just practice, the three-day camp will match Smart up against talented point guards like Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Curry. Add that to the fact that he will get to go up against Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo in practice on a daily basis, and Smart should be one of the more prepared rookies of the season and can possibly make an impact on the court sooner than expected. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is already impressed with his leadership skills.