Sixers rookie Zhaire Smith is making some decent progress, but his debut will most likely be on hold for a while.
Are you really a Sixers first pick if you don’t miss most of or the entirety of your rookie season? Seriously, this team has got to have some sort of curse for their first picks. We saw it with Nerlens Noel back in 2013. Then, Joel Embiid came into the organization with an injury already. Ben Simmons missed his first year with a broken foot. And Markelle Fultz, well, who knows what that was but he lost a lot of time.
This year is no different for the Sixers. Although Zhaire Smith wasn’t originally their first pick, the Sixers ended up with him anyway as they made a trade for him about 15 minutes later after their initial pick on draft night. Smith has been injured for the Sixers and has yet to make his true NBA debut as he’s nursing a Jones fracture.
He hasn’t spent much time with the team, but on Wednesday after returning from the All-Star break, Smith gave the Sixers some high hopes for a moment. Sixers coach Brett Brown was excited to see the rookie around communicating with his future teammates. That left everybody hopeful that Smith could potentially return at some point soon to help the Sixers out. But don’t get your hopes up too high, people.
Zhaire Smith probably won’t play this year…
Just when you think everything is coming together for the Sixers after a successful trade deadline, you take two steps backward. Not only are the Sixers a bit weak in bench depth, they got even thinner when it was found out that Furkan Korkmaz tore his meniscus. And along with that news, the Sixers announced that Joel Embiid will miss some time because of knee soreness.
Did you think that would be it? Because the bad news isn’t over yet. Smith will not debut in 2019. Although he could get some playing time in with the Delaware Blue Coats, it sounds like it’s pretty much out of the question that the 19-year-old rookie gets to debut in 2019. So, a red-shirt season it is. See you in 2020, rook.