Philadelphia 76ers: Zhaire Smith suffers left foot injury

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

After flashing some serious potential in the Summer League, Philadelphia 76ers guard Zhaire Smith has suffered a left foot injury in Las Vegas.

For a lot of Philadelphia 76ers fans, this has to feel like deja vu.

In what could only be described as an untimely continuation of the Sixers’ horrendous luck, Zhaire Smith, the 16th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, has reportedly suffered a left foot injury while participating in Tim Grgurich’s development camp in Las Vegas, and is now flying back to Philadelphia for a second opinion.

The news, first reported by former NBCS Philly beat writer Jessica Camerado comes straight from the Philadelphia 76ers Vice President of Athletic Care Dr. Daniel Medina and could potentially spell disaster for the rookies upcoming season.

Now granted, unlike some players selected higher in the draft, Smith was never expected to come in and start from day one, but a huge reason why Philly opted to select the former Texas Tech power forward after trading away everyone’s favorite former Villanova Wildcat Mikal Bridges was because of his plug-and-play defensive ability to lock down opposing guards.

After watching the Boston Celtics largely replacement backcourt wreak havoc on Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick during the Eastern Conference semifinals of last seasons NBA playoffs, Philly obviously made adding defensive-minded guards the roster a priority going into the offseason, with Smith assume to take that role.

While the medical report released from the Sixers is incredibly vague and could ultimately lead to a small injury that has no effect on Smith’s season whatsoever, but if it’s as serious Simmons’ broken foot from two summers ago, it could be disastrous to the 76ers ability to take a step forward after winning 52 games in 2017-2018.

With free agency essentially over and virtually no good defensive-minded guards still available, save maybe a 36-year-old Tony Allen, losing Smith could force Philly to have to make another trade for a defensive combo-guard, and potentially have to give up assets to make it happen.

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Though there’s obviously no way of knowing this would occur, the Philadelphia 76ers decision to trade Justin Anderson, arguably their best backcourt defender last season, to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the Mike Muscala trade unfortunately looks like an oversight that I’m sure the team wishes it could take back if Zhaire Smith’s injury proves season ending.