76ers rookie Zhaire Smith undergoes surgery for fractured foot; no timeline for return
Philadelphia has had a string of bad luck with injuries to draft picks
Smith sustained the injury earlier this month at a camp held by former NBA assistant coach Tim Grgurich. Following reports that Smith had suffered a fractured foot and would need surgery, the team confirmed as much on Friday afternoon.
"Rookie guard Zhaire Smith underwent successful surgery Thursday evening to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot," the Sixers wrote in a press release.
Smith's injury is a continuation of awful injury luck for Philadelphia when it comes to rookie first-round draft picks. The No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft Joel Embiid missed the entirety of his first two seasons due to foot and knee injuries. 2016 first-round pick Ben Simmons, who was taken first overall, also missed his entire rookie year due to an injury before the season. And last year, first overall pick Markelle Fultz played in only 14 games as he dealt with a nagging shoulder injury.
Smith was taken 16th overall by the Suns in the NBA Draft earlier this year but acquired by Philadelphia in return for tenth overall pick Mikal Bridges and a 2021 unprotected 2021 first-round pick. The 19-year-old Texas Tech product played only one season in college basketball, where he averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in limited usage but wowed with his that earned him a top-20 selection despite being a three-star prospect coming out of high school.
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