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Zhaire Smith isn’t expected to return to Sixers in 2018

zhaire smith

It appears that the Philadelphia 76ers faithful will need to wait a little bit longer before they see rookie Zhaire Smith make his debut for the Sixers. According to Sixers insider Kyle Neubeck, the 19-year-old’s timetable has been pushed back, as he is now not expected to take the court within the calendar year.

Smith underwent surgery to repair a Jones fracture on his left foot back in August, and was initially expected to return around Christmas time. However, the former Texas Tech University standout went through an unrelated procedure in September to address an allergic reaction. It is currently unclear whether or not the thoracoscopy performed on him on September contributed to the delay in his timetable.

Smith was drafted 16th overall in June’s draft by the Phoenix Suns. He was subsequently traded to the Sixers on the same day along with a 2021 first round pick in exchange for Mikal Bridges, who the Sixers drafted using their 10th pick.

The 6-foot-4 guard spent only one year in college. In 37 games for the Red Raiders, he averaged a serviceable 11.3 points on 55.6 percent shooting, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists.

With such a loaded backcourt, the Sixers have no motivation to rush Smith’s recovery. The team has been known to take a more conservative approach when it comes to injuries, so we should not expect to see Smith taking the court anytime soon. In fact, a stint in the G League might be looming for the rookie once he is healthy.