Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, one of the most electric players in college basketball by the end of his freshman year, is ready to create highlights for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.
Smith was drafted by Phoenix with the No. 16 pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft, but news quickly broke that he was traded to Philadelphia for the rights to Mikal Bridges. Smith was the third Big 12 player off the board, behind Oklahoma’s Trae Young and Texas’ Mohamed Bamba.
While with the Red Raiders, Smith averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He also threw down highlight dunk after highlight dunk. See for yourself:
Scouts were in love with Smith’s athleticism throughout draft workouts and in watching film of his time at Texas Tech. At 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds, Smith can play either a smaller forward or a bigger 2 guard, and he has all the jumping ability in the world. He’s a deadeye three-point shooter, as well, having shot 45 percent from beyond the arc in college. Perhaps most importantly, he has a tremendous work ethic. Smith is the first non-ESPN Top 100 recruit to get picked in the first round of the NBA draft, and that speaks to his tremendous improvement over one year at Texas Tech.
Not everyone is convinced that Smith can contribute right away in the NBA. But the Sixers have a history of developing young talent, and if Smith can fit in with the young players in “The Process” in Philadelphia, he can be on a playoff team right away.