Zhaire Smith was a partial participant at the 76ers practice on Wednesday.
Sixers coach Brett Brown doesn’t expect Smith to play for the Sixers this season. The hope is for him to play for the Blue Coats.
He had been working out with the Sixers’ G-League affiliate in Delaware. He was recalled for Wednesday’s Sixers practice because the Blue Coats had a home game Wednesday night against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He’s scheduled return to Delaware on Thursday.
The coach was impressed with what he saw from the rookie. Brown said Smith was 50 to 60 percent.
“You know, he ran around a little bit," Brown said. “He competed. It was great to see him. You are reminded of how athletic he is. He had a bounce today. It’s just good to have him included with his teammates.”
The shooting guard 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.
The Phoenix Suns selected Smith 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.