Sixers rookie Zhaire Smith could make pro debut with Delaware Blue Coats
When Zhaire Smith was selected 16th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, likely one of the last places the Sixers rookie would have expected to make his season debut would have been Maine while playing for the Delaware Blue Coats.
But according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, if things go according to plan, Smith will suit up for Friday’s G League contest, making his first appearance of the season after recovering from a Jones fracture in his foot.
Philadelphia has been able to afford patience with their first-round asset due largely to their success in the win column this season. That success eases the blow of allowing Mikal Bridges, a Philadelphia native that the team selected 10th overall, to thrive with the Suns after a trade on draft night. The Sixers also acquired what could turn out to be a highly valuable draft selection in that deal, the 2021 first-round pick of the Miami Heat.
As for Smith and his future with the Sixers, there’s certainly reason for optimism. Smith played just a single season at Texas Tech before declaring for the NBA Draft, earning Big 12 All-Defensive Team honors in his only season on campus.
Whether or not Smith is able to debut for Philadelphia this season doesn’t appear to be a major concern, as the depth of the current squad has largely led them to this point. Even with Furkan Korkmaz laid up for an extended period of time, the acquisition of Jonathon Simmons should cover the Sixers on the wing off the bench.