Zhaire Smith will make his professional debut for the Delaware Blue Coats in Friday’s NBA G-League game at the Maine Red Claws if things continue to go as scheduled, according to sources.
The Blue Coats are the 76ers’ G-League affiliate.
Smith, a Sixers rookie, was expected to return in December after being sidelined with an acute Jones fracture in his left foot. However, he remained out due to the negative effects from an allergic reaction to something he ate back in September.
Sixers coach Brett Brown doesn’t expect Smith to play for the Sixers this season.
The Phoenix Suns selected him with the 16th overall pick in the June draft. He was immediately traded to the Sixers along with the Miami Heat’s unprotected 2021 first-round pick for Mikal Bridges. The Sixers had selected Bridges out of Villanova with the No. 10 pick. The Sixers liked Smith all along, just not at the 10th spot.
He averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals as a power forward in his lone season at Texas Tech. He was named to the all-Big 12 newcomer team and to the conference’s all-defensive team.