Sixers' first-round pick Zhaire Smith signs contract, officially joins roster

Sixers' first-round pick Zhaire Smith signs contract, officially joins roster

Zhaire Smith is officially a 76er.

The team announced on Monday that the rookie swingman signed his contract. As the 16th overall pick in the June 21 draft, Smith is slotted to make around $2.5 million in the upcoming season. His contract will have two guaranteed seasons with team options for the third and fourth seasons.

The 19-year-old has been participating in the Sixers summer-league squad’s minicamp practices at the team’s facility in Camden. The Sixers will face the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m. Friday in an NBA Summer League opener at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

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Smith was acquired by the Sixers in a draft-day trade.

They selected Mikal Bridges, a Villanova and Great Valley High School product, with the No. 10 pick. Less than an hour later, the Sixers traded him to the Phoenix Suns for Smith, the Suns’ pick at No. 16. The Sixers also received the Miami Heat’s unprotected first-round pick in 2021. The Sixers liked Smith all along, just not at the 10th pick.

The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals as a power forward in his lone season at Texas Tech. He was named to the all-Big 12 newcomer team and to the conference’s all-defensive team.

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Smith has been shooting well in drills at minicamp. On Monday, he and point guard Demetrius Jackson were paired in the portion of the scrimmage open to the media. The two were impressive. Jackson is a restricted free agent after having a two-way contract with the Sixers this past season.

McCullough looking to showcase

With three years of NBA experience, Chris McCullough would rather enjoy his summer than participate in a summer league.

But the unrestricted free agent realizes playing on the Sixers’ summer-league team is an opportunity to showcase why he deserves to remain in the league.

“I never really touched the surface yet,” said McCullough, whose 2018-19 option was declined by the Washington Wizards. The summer league is “a really good opportunity to play my game, work on everything I need to work.”

The power forward opted to play for the Sixers based on their uptempo style that requires post players to get out and run. The 6-foot-10, 210-pounder can step out and knock down three-pointers. He also has the athleticism of a small forward.

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The Nets made him the 29th overall draft pick out of Syracuse in 2015. McCullough, 23, missed the first half of the 2015-16 season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in his lone season in college. The Nets traded him to the Wizards on Feb. 22, 2017.

He averaged 3.3 points in a combined 59 games with the Wizards and Nets, and spent a lot of time in the NBA G League. This past season, he played with the Northern Arizona Sun, the Eric BayHawks and the Wisconsin Herd.

McCullough played in only 16 games at Syracuse before suffering the season-ending injury.

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Published at Tue, 03 Jul 2018 00:43:05 +0000

Categories: Sixers

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