Pistons Waive Zhaire Smith

The Pistons have placed swingman Zhaire Smith on waivers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The transaction was expected, as Detroit’s plan to waive Smith was previously reported. The Pistons officially acquired Smith from the 76ers in exchange for center Tony Bradley a week ago.

Smith was due to make $3.2MM during the upcoming season but that was the only guarantee left on his rookie contract. His $4.915MM salary for the 2021/22 season includes a team option.

There’s a good chance Detroit will use the stretch provision on Smith’s contract. Only the guaranteed money would count, so if the Pistons stretch his contract for three years, the cap hit would be around $1MM per season.

Smith was drafted just outside the lottery with the No. 16 pick in the 2018 draft but his first two seasons were marred by injuries.  He’s appeared in just 13 NBA games.

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16 thoughts on “Pistons Waive Zhaire Smith

  1. petersdylan36

    Can someone explain to me why the pistons would give up on him? He’s young. Why not give him a shot?

    • infield fly

      Agree! It’s not like the Pistons are loaded and he was the 16th pick as recently as the 2018 draft!

      • hiflew

        The 16th pick in the draft is not really that great. Wade Baldwin was cut a year after being the 17th pick. George Papagiannis was the 13th pick and was back in Greece practically before they sewed his name on the jersey. Justin Patton was the 17th pick the year before Smith and has been cut or traded by 7 different teams in three years.

        Some (not all) teen picks in the NBA are not very useful players.

    • Otogar

      There has to be some issue with him we are unaware of, because the deal was already strange from the Sixers point of view. Perhaps he’s not recovered yet from his physical problems.

    • hiflew

      There are a lot of young players, but only 15 roster spots. If you don’t think a guy has a future with your organization, then it’s better to just get rid of him and bring in someone you want.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Yeah he’s really not been given a chance. He’s been banged up most of his career. He’s considered small cause he’s more a wing. Athletic and plays D big wingspan. That’s how he came in, young. At pick #16 they saw upside. But how can you reach it if you dont play. Knicks have done this too. You draft young guys who need to play to develop. And you sit them on the bench. Best to play them in NBDL. Learn what they need to learn for a yr or two. You only learn and get better by playing in games. Doesn’t matter if you are a first rd pick. You play against talent. You learn get confident and you better and grow. Someone should give Z Smith a shot.

    link to nbcsports.com

  3. davidkaner

    He’s not viable on the Pistons with the people ahead of him. He’s D league bound and if he can stay healthy, he can get a shot with teams suffering injuries. Pistons have enough young players to focus on.

  4. phillyballers

    he wasn’t that good in the GLeauge, if the Sixers cut Shayok why would you expect someone to keep Zhaire? Just a bust. Why Patton keeps getting chances idk, probably be he has some guard skills for his height aka potential. Same reason Thon will get chances.

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