DRAFT TRADE: Traded to Philadelphia 76ers
About Zhaire Smith
Zhaire Smith is a tremendously gifted athlete who excels defensively and has some building blocks to work with offensively. A largely unheralded recruit in the high school class of 2017, Smith exploded onto the scene as a freshman for a Texas Tech team that spent much of the second half of the season ranked in the top-10. Averaging 11.3 points and 5 rebounds per game, Smith helped the Red Raiders make it all the way to the Elite Eight, earning All-Big XII Honorable Mention honors and providing some of the more memorable highlights of the NCAA Tournament with his ability to finish above the rim in spectacular fashion.
- Measured 6’4 in shoes with a 6’9.75 wingspan and 199-pound frame at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine. Lacks a degree of size for a small forward, but compensates with good length and ranks as perhaps the most athletic wing available in the 2018 NBA Draft. Freakishly explosive and quick motor to make the most of it.
- Did not play a huge offensive role for the Red Raiders, but made very efficient contributions scoring the ball. Did much of his damage as a finisher where his explosiveness really shined and he made jump shots at a strong rate in limited attempts. Was not asked to create much for himself off the dribble, playing primarily off the ball.
- Makes his biggest mark defensively where he has lock down potential. Plays a very aggressive, active brand of defense making the most of his length and lateral speed. Allowed just0.444 points per Isolation possession[92nd percentile]. Toughness and instincts stand out. Gets in the passing lanes and even flashes the ability to help protect the rim. Disruptive off ball defender who has the quickness to deny entry passes. Has some room to improve his discipline, but looks the part of a defensive difference maker.