Sixers pick up Zhaire Smith’s third-year option
Smith played in only six regular-season games as a rookie because of a foot fracture and an allergic reaction to something he ate at the Sixers practice facility.
The 76ers on Wednesday picked up the third-year option on the rookie-scale contract of Zhaire Smith.
The Sixers were expected to pick up the contract option for the second-year guard before Monday’s deadline. If they didn’t, he would have become a free agent after this season.
Smith was drafted by the Phoenix Suns 16th overall out of Texas Tech in 2018 and immediately traded to the Sixers. His third-year option is for $3.2 million.
He played in only six regular-season games as a rookie because of a foot fracture and an allergic reaction to something he ate at the Sixers practice facility.
Smith has received limited minutes this preseason on a Sixers squad that has NBA-title aspirations. He had seven points on 3-for-4 shooting, making his lone three-point attempt, in 12 minutes in Tuesday’s 106-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Smith is averaging 4.8 points, 1.5 rebounds and 9 minutes, 45 seconds in mop-up duty in the four preseason games.
In July, he was a standout on the Sixers’ NBA Summer League team, averaging a team second-best 12.8 points and shooting 48% from the field. The 20-year-old also averaged 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals in 26 minutes and played in five games.
He was primarily a power forward during his lone season at Texas Tech. And before that, Smith used his 42-inch vertical to excel as a center at Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland, Texas, a Dallas suburb.