There's no denying that Javonte Smart took one of the biggest leaps in his game this past season. His shooting percentages shot up and his confidence seemed to grow with every game as he truly became a leader on and off the floor during his junior season.
After averaging a career high 16 points per game and 3.7 assists on 46% shooting and 40% from three, Smart officially announced his intention to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft and hire an agent.
"I feel like this year helped me learn a lot more about myself and about just growing up as a man,” Smart said after the loss to Michigan. “There was just a lot going on. I think it helped me for further on. I think it was a really good year. I'm proud of our guys, our younger guys, and even Trendon and Days. Like I said, it was a big year for us. I was looking forward to winning it all, but we fell short to Michigan. Like I said, I want to give it all to them. But I felt like I learned a lot this year."
While it’s unclear just how Smart will be viewed as an NBA prospect, there’s little doubt that his stock will never be higher. He showed great growth as a scorer and was among the better guards in the SEC each of the last two seasons for the Tigers.
At 6-foot-4, he likely best translates to an off ball guard who can create for others in the half court at the next level. Smart also improved as a defender his final year with the Tigers, averaging 1.3 per contest which was top 10 in the conference.
Like Trendon Watford announced on Wednesday, Smart will hire an agent and not leave the option of returning to school open. The Tigers are expected to undergo a major roster overhaul with Darius Days and Cam Thomas both expected to turn pro as well.