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Sixers’ Brett Brown says Zhaire Smith reminds him of Avery Bradley at times

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The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the top teams on the opposing side of the court and not surprisingly, have no shortage of premier individual defenders on every position. But according to Brett Brown, they may have another gem in their hands in Zhaire Smith.

In an article by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sixers head coach hailed their incoming sophomore as a standout on shutting down his defensive assignment that he’s reminded of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Avery Bradley.

“I say he reminds me of [Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard] Avery Bradley at times,” Brown said of Smith. “That side of it stands out of it for me of him.”

Brown is obviously referring to the younger Bradley who was an All-Defensive First Team member a while ago as a member of the Boston Celtics but has since fallen off a cliff due to injuries and is trying to prove he still has it as a reclamation project with the purple-and-gold. The 20-year-old has been favorably compared to the Texas Longhorn as a prospect both for their size and propensity to guard multiple positions.

Smith was originally drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the sixteenth-overall pick before being shipped to the Sixers in exchange for Mikal Bridges. The 6-foot-4 guard’s rookie season has been plagued by a nagging foot injury and a series of setbacks that limited him to just six games but with decent averages of 6.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in just over 18 minutes per night.

Finally, with a clean bill of health, the Sixers expect the young guard to start contributing and fortifying their already vaunted team defense.