Report: 76ers' Zhaire Smith Won't Play in Restart After Suffering Knee Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers' Zhaire Smith in action during an NBA preseason basketball game against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers guard Zhaire Smith will reportedly miss the remainder of the season because of a bone bruise in his knee.

Derek Bodner of The Athletic reported Smith is expected to make a full recovery. Because he began experiencing issues before the Sixers convened for training camp last week, the team will not be eligible to sign a replacement player.

Smith was seldom used during the regular season before it was suspended, making only seven appearances.

A 2018 first-round pick, a foot injury cost Smith nearly his entire rookie season. He spent most of 2019-20 in the G League, averaging 13.5 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Delaware Blue Coats.

The Sixers were unlikely to play Smith much in the Orlando restart regardless of his health. Josh Richardson, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton are all ahead of Smith on the Sixers' depth chart at the 2. He likely would have been used as depth in case of an injury or multiple players testing positive for COVID-19.

It's nevertheless a disappointing end to Smith's season, and he'll enter 2020-21 in real danger of having the fourth-year option on his contract declined. 

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