Zhaire Smith Undergoes Foot Surgery

AUGUST 10: Smith underwent surgery on Thursday evening to repair the Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot, the Sixers announced in a press release. The club intends to update Smith’s recovery timetable at a later date.

AUGUST 7: An MRI on the injured left foot of Sixers rookie Zhaire Smith has revealed a Jones fracture, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. According to Charania, Smith – who hurt his foot on Monday during a developmental camp in Las Vegas – will see another specialist in Philadelphia, but is expected to undergo surgery later this week.

It’s a tough blow for a 76ers team that has had bad luck with injuries to top draft picks in recent years. Former third overall pick Joel Embiid didn’t appear in a regular season game until his third year in the NBA, 2016’s No. 1 selection Ben Simmons missed his entire rookie season, and 2017’s top pick Markelle Fultz played just 14 games last year.

While Smith won’t enter the NBA faced with the same expectations that Embiid, Simmons, and Fultz had, he was Philadelphia’s top selection in the 2018 draft. The former Texas Tech forward, the No. 16 pick, was acquired by the Sixers on draft night along with a future first-rounder in a trade that sent 10th overall pick Mikal Bridges to Phoenix.

The Sixers likely won’t announce a timeline for Smith’s recovery until after he undergoes surgery, but the team has been very cautious with injuries to key young players. While that doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t see Smith at all during his rookie year, a similar injury sidelined Simmons for a full season in 2016/17, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic notes (via Twitter).

Even without Smith, the Sixers figure to have a good amount of depth on the wing, with J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, and Wilson Chandler all in line for major roles.

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14 thoughts on “Zhaire Smith Undergoes Foot Surgery

  1. slim7180

    I would like to believe that during the trade on draft night the Sixers probably asked if there were any injury concerns and they were told possibly so they jumped on this… I mean it’s highly doubtful but they do seem to have an abnormally high ability to get players that miss entire seasons… there motto should be “always looking to the future”

  2. A shame. Smith is real talent, and, based on his FR year at TT, I think would have contributed more than expected sooner than expected this year. Fractures do fully heel, eventually, but are subject to a high rate of re-injury before they do. Might be awhile before we see what he’s got.

  3. What a shame, I was excited to see what he could bring to the table… but will have to wait to see.

  4. x%sure

    Is the injury even bad luck at this point… Was it ever for the Sixers? Or, a plan to “break” the rookies in slowly for a team very much not in a rush– and now with a successful habit of rookie years off if they were.

    Remember the pressure on the Sixers of the 80s to win a title with Erving, Toney, Malone, etc, and somehow-HOFer Mo Cheeks… it has not been like that recently… that pressure won’t happen again until the 20s…

    That’s actually the first I have seen someone write of “the 20s” meaning 2020+ not 1920+… and it was me writing it! You saw it here first! :D

      • x%sure

        Chandler came with draft picks, and they are relying on developing players at PG. They are still in growing mode; nevermind the win-yesterday pressure of the 80s.

        • Z-A

          Ben Simmons is their PG.

          They are trying to develop a 2 guard and they need a scoring wing. But they are in win-now mode, they just weren’t giving up an All Star for Kawhi, and both PG13 and LBJ chose purgatory in the West. Can’t fix that. They still are in shape to sign a “big FA” next offseason tho.

          • bravesfan88

            I’m not so sure you can really label Simmons as a PG..I would call him more of a Point-Forward…lol..

            Besides Simmons isn’t really one for labels anyways..Rookie-non-rookie, point guard-point forward, scorer-playmaker..It’s all relative these days in today’s NBA

              • x%sure

                Last i saw him, he was on the bench while a real PG was running things. Sixers are fooling themselves and indulging personnel. It’s alright, it’s all about the 20s.

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