Zhaire Smith

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/13/19

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Sixers have re-assigned Zhaire Smith and Justin Patton to their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, the club announced (via Twitter). Smith was available to play for Philadelphia on Tuesday night, but didn’t get a chance to make his NBA debut.
  • After scoring a game-high 28 points to help lead the Capital City Go-Go to a Tuesday win, Chasson Randle was recalled from the G League today by the Wizards, per the team (via Twitter). Randle is part of Washington’s rotation tonight vs. Orlando.
  • The Suns recalled rookie guard Elie Okobo from the G League in advance of their game tonight vs. Utah, the team announced in a press release. Okobo had 19 points, five assists, and five rebounds for the Northern Arizona Suns on Tuesday.
  • Rookie forward Chimezie Metu was assigned to the G League today by the Spurs, according to a team release. Metu is active for Austin’s game tonight vs. Iowa.
  • The Thunder recalled dunk contest champion Hamidou Diallo from the G Leauge today, tweets Brett Dawson of The Athletic. Diallo, who is active tonight for the Thunder, recorded 18 points and nine rebounds for the Oklahoma City Blue on Tuesday.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/12/19

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Grizzlies recalled Tyler Dorsey from the G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, the team announced (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics assigned Robert Williams to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, the team announced (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards assigned Chasson Randle to their G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, per a press release. Randle has averaged 5.7 PPG and 2.0 APG in 15.2 minutes per game with Washington.
  • The Jazz assigned Grayson Allen to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team announced today in a press release. Allen, on his 11th assignment of the season, will suit up for Utah’s G League affiliate tonight.
  • The Sixers recalled rookie Zhaire Smith, who was available for Philadelphia’s game tonight, according to the team (via Twitter). Smith, who has yet to make his NBA debut, didn’t see any action vs. Cleveland.

Joel Embiid Expects To Return Next Week

Sixers center Joel Embiid, who hasn’t played since the All-Star Game because of soreness in his left knee, told reporters before tonight’s game that he plans to be back next week, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

Embiid added that the pain in his knee had been intensifying before the break and he wanted to get it back in shape heading into the postseason. He said he approached team officials about taking a few games off (Twitter link).

“It’s all about long-term preservation and making sure I’m ready, not just for the playoffs, [but] also for the next 15 years,” Embiid said in a quote relayed by Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. “Knowing the team and what we’ve been through, knowing me and knowing that I like to push on everything, I like to play through anything, we just felt like it was better to preserve.”

The Sixers have won three out of four games without Embiid and enter the night half a game out of third place in the East. Aggressive moves to add Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris have made Philadelphia one of the top contenders in the conference if everyone is healthy.

Embiid says the rest has been effective and his knee is feeling better, tweets Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I didn’t feel comfortable and coming from me, you know that if I don’t want to push through anything, it means that I really need it (rest),” Embiid said (Twitter link).

Bontemps also offered an update on rookie Zhaire Smith, who has been sidelined all season because of foot surgery and a food-related allergic reaction. Smith said he had to regain more than 40 pounds after his weight dropped to 164 (Twitter link).

Smith played his first game last night for the Sixers’ G League affiliate in Delaware, but isn’t expected to see any NBA action this season. He logged 15 minutes and posted two points, three rebounds and two assists.

Sixers Notes: Z. Smith, Patton, Chemistry

Sixers rookie wing Zhaire Smith isn’t considered likely to contribute to the NBA club down the stretch, or even play at all in Philadelphia this season. However, he appears poised to make his professional debut in the G League this week, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Smith, who has been sidelined for most of the 2018/19 season due to a broken foot, as well as complications from an allergic reaction, should get the OK to play for the Delaware Blue Coats on Friday against Maine if things go as planned, sources tell Pompey. Assuming there are no setbacks, Smith would continue to suit up and shake off the rest for Delaware down the stretch — head coach Brett Brown has said that he doesn’t expect the 2018 first-rounder to play for the 76ers this season.

Assuming Smith doesn’t make his NBA debut until 2019/20, he would be the latest in a string of Sixers first-round picks to sit out his full rookie season. Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons missed their entire rookie years, while Markelle Fultz appeared in just 14 games in his.

Here’s more from out of Philadelphia:

  • Speaking of injured former first-rounders, Sixers center Justin Patton may finally get an opportunity to contribute to the NBA club, per Brian Seltzer of Sixers.com. With Embiid and Boban Marjanovic on the shelf, Philadelphia is shorthanded in the frontcourt and has recalled Patton from the G League. The young center’s first two NBA seasons have been derailed by foot injuries, but he’ll be ready to play in his second ever NBA game if the Sixers need him on Thursday. Patton will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports takes a deep dive into the Sixers’ efforts to develop chemistry and establish an identity after a pair of blockbuster in-season acquisitions (Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris). “It’s gonna take awhile to build chemistry as a collective unit, but this is something that can be special if it comes together the right way,” Harris said. “It’s gonna take time, but we’re just feeling each other out.” Philadelphia’s ability to sort things out in time for the playoffs could have a significant impact on the NBA offseason — both Butler and Harris will be free agents, and their decisions could be affected by how deep a run the 76ers make.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along health updates on Embiid, Marjanovic, and Furkan Korkmaz earlier this week. Korkmaz is expected to have the lengthiest absence of the three, as he underwent surgery to repair his torn meniscus.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/21/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

Sixers Notes: Harris, Fultz, Brown, Z. Smith

Tobias Harris has been traded five times since entering the NBA in 2011, but he probably could have ensured stability with the Clippers if he had accepted an $80MM extension offer last summer. However, Harris tells Jonathan Gold of The Washington Post that he was willing to take the gamble in hopes of landing a max deal as a free agent this summer.

“Eighty million is a lot of money,” Harris said. “People said, ‘How you turn that down?’ . . . Look, I know my trajectory. I know when to bet on myself. We looked at the salary cap, looked at free agents, and with all the work I put in, we thought I’d be one of the top guys.”

The acquisition of Harris means “The Process” is now complete in Philadelphia, Gold adds. The team has entered win-now territory and is no longer focused on developing young talent, something it emphasized by trading former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz to Orlando. Harris marked the second aggressive move of the season for the Sixers, who swung a deal in November to acquire Jimmy Butler and are now poised for a playoff run with one of the most talented starting fives in the league.

“I feel like this is the third team I’ve coached this season,” coach Brett Brown said, reflecting on the two major trades.

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Brown doesn’t believe Fultz was being disrespectful with comments he made at his introductory press conference with the Magic, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer“It just excites me to know that I have a coach that’s going to push you to be better and not just going to tell you what you want to hear,” Fultz told reporters, while adding that he looks forward to a “fresh start.” Brown said he has talked to Fultz since then and was assured it wasn’t intended as a swipe at the Sixers’ coaching staff. “He’s a good kid,” Brown said. “He’s a good young man, and, truly, we wish him well.”
  • First-round pick Zhaire Smith probably won’t play for the Sixers this season, but may see some G League action, Pompey tweets. Smith participated in practice today and is considered about 60% recovered from a Jones fracture in his left foot (Twitter link).
  • Although the Sixers’ approach to rebuilding has drawn criticism from many circles, including the commissioner’s office, the franchise has been able to assemble a contender fairly quickly, notes Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/24/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Sixers have assigned Justin Patton and Zhaire Smith to the Delaware Blue Coats for rehab purposes, the team announced. Patton will begin practicing with limited and controlled contact as he works back from right foot surgery, while Smith will participate in non-contact practices as he returns from a Jones fracture in his left foot.
  • The Celtics assigned rookie forward Robert Williams to the Maine Red Claws, announcing the move on social media. Williams was selected by the Celtics with the No. 27 pick in the 2018 draft, appearing in 22 games so far this season.
  • The Hornets have recalled Dwayne Bacon from the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced in a press release. Bacon is holding season averages of 4.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 23 games with Charlotte on the year.

Sixers Notes: Patton, Z. Smith, Vonleh, Butler

The Sixers announced today in a press release that a pair of injured youngsters have been assigned to the G League to join the Delaware Blue Coats for rehab purposes. According to the team, Justin Patton will begin practicing with limited and controlled contact, while Zhaire Smith will participate in non-contact elements of Delaware’s practices.

Patton, who is coming off right foot surgery, has been plagued by foot issues throughout his two-year NBA career, appearing in just one regular season game to date. He was sent to Philadelphia in November’s Jimmy Butler blockbuster, but will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. It’s unlikely we see him play much of a role for the 76ers down the stretch even if he gets healthy.

Smith, on the other hand, was the Sixers’ first-round pick in 2018 and remains under team control for several seasons, so it’s notable that he’s taking the next step in his rehab process. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), while Smith is just doing non-contact work for now, he’ll ramp up his activities in the coming weeks. The rookie is coming off a Jones fracture in his left foot and a complication created by an allergy issue.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • Derek Bodner of The Athletic takes an extensive look at the Sixers’ trade deadline options, writing that the team is in need of depth and perimeter defense. Bodner also explores whether the 76ers would move Markelle Fultz while his value is so low and whether the club would make a deal that cuts into its 2019 cap room.
  • Within the same story, Bodner reports that sources with the Sixers “vigorously” denied a recent report suggesting that the team had expressed interest in Knicks power forward Noah Vonleh.
  • Jimmy Butler missed Wednesday’s game with a wrist injury, but it’s not considered a major issue, according to head coach Brett Brown, who said that a Monday MRI on Butler’s wrist didn’t reveal anything concerning (Twitter link via Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com).

Sixers Notes: Fultz, Z. Smith, Roster Depth, Embiid

With Markelle Fultz‘s status as uncertain as ever, Sixers GM Elton Brand admitted Saturday he’s not sure if the second-year guard will play again this season, writes Sarah Todd of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Fultz, who hasn’t seen game action since November 19, has been diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. He is doing rehab work away from the team, and there’s no timetable for a possible return.

“He’s in L.A. with Judy Seto, … who Kobe [Bryant] swears by, progressing well,” Brand said. “He’ll be with us on Christmas, with his family. … Our staff, or someone from the organization has been in touch with him daily, or someone in his camp daily.”

Brand added that another update is expected after the holidays as team doctors re-evaluate his condition. The top pick in last year’s draft, Fultz had started 15 of 19 games and was averaging 8.2 PPG before being sidelined by the injury.

There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:

  • Brand has more definite news about this year’s first-rounder, Zhaire Smith, who hasn’t played yet this season, Todd relays in the same story. Smith had surgery on his left foot in August, then had his rehab interrupted by complications from a peanut allergy, but Brand said the organization expects him to be ready before the season ends. “Zhaire is in the gym every morning, early in the morning, sometimes 5 a.m. He’s in good spirits,” Brand said. “He’ll have another test on his foot after the holiday and we expect to see him back this season. Not this year, but this season.” Smith will likely be sent to the Sixers’ G League team in Delaware when he is ready to return.
  • Brand expects to make at least one more move to add roster depth before the February 7 trade deadline, Todd adds. Philadelphia gave up some depth when it sent Robert Covington and Dario Saric to Minnesota to acquire Jimmy Butler. Brand agrees with coach Brett Brown that the team could use another perimeter defender. “We’re not a finished product right now,” he stated. We’re going to get better.”
  • Since the Butler deal, the Sixers have relied on Joel Embiid to provide more 3-point shooting, but the center wants to make that a smaller part of his offensive game, relays ESPN’s Tim Bontemps“I don’t like shooting 3s,” Embiid said. “I only do it because of the spacing that we have, and sometimes I have to take them.”

Zhaire Smith In Danger of Missing Entire Season?

Zhaire Smith has yet to make his debut for the Sixers this season and that moment may not come during the 2018/19 campaign.

Philadelphia announced earlier this month that Smith underwent “medical treatment for complications derived from the allergic reaction that initially required a thoracoscopy” and while there was no timetable for his return, reporters were told that Smith’s return to the court would not come in 2018.

According to The Ringer’s John Gonzalez, Smith is “in danger” of missing not just the rest of the calendar year but the entire season. Gonzalez hears that the rookie has undergone several procedures to address the allergy issue and he’s lost “upwards of 20 pounds” in the process.

Leading up to the complication, the Sixers were aware of Smith’s peanut allergy and they had prepared Smith’s food separately. However, the team was unaware that he also had a sesame allergy, Gonzalez writes, and it’s possible that Smith ate something from the facility with sesame in it that triggered the reaction.

Philadelphia acquired Smith’s rights, along with a future first-round pick, on draft night in exchange for No. 10 overall pick Mikal Bridges. Smith was the No. 16 overall selection out of Texas Tech.