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Zhaire Smith’s Injury: Fractured Left Foot

Hello darkness, my old friend.

NBA: Summer League-Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, the Sixers issued the following statement regarding 2018 #16 overall pick Zhaire Smith:

And now we have our update: according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Smith suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot, an injury which should not be unfamiliar to Sixers fans- the Jones fracture is what Ben Simmons had during his first training camp, an injury that caused him to miss the entire 2016-17 campaign.

According to The Athletic’s Derek Bodner, Smith’s surgery could take place by the end of this week.

Unfortunately, this comes at a pretty inconvenient time in the summer, as virtually every wing who can play hard-nosed defense has been signed. Unless the Sixers were to now be more aggressive in swinging a trade for someone who helps their wing depth, they will face the same issues they did at the beginning of last year, when Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot was often playing way too many minutes for a player of his caliber. This year, that could be Furkan Korkmaz, who stood out in Summer League, but likely is not ready for a sizable role in an NBA rotation.

If the Sixers attempt to look around at trade targets, Wesley Johnson of the Los Angeles Clippers could make sense- the Sixers might need to pay someone to take on the final year of Jerryd Bayless’ contract, but if they can do that for a cheap price, they could feasibly end up with Johnson, who has underachieved throughout his career, but has also been a solid defender over the last three years, thanks to his size and athleticism. The Clippers have 15 guaranteed contracts and the non-guaranteed deal of Patrick Beverley, so they need to move at least one more player.

The could also look to get former-Sixer Justin Holiday from a Chicago team that seems focused on developing their young core right now. He is nothing special, but is decent on both ends of the floor, and can be a serviceable depth wing on a good team.

This continues an absolutely absurd streak of Sixers first-round draft picks suffering some sort of injuries. In 2014, Joel Embiid. In 2015, Joel Embiid again. In 2016, Ben Simmons. In 2017, Markelle Fultz. And now here we are in 2018, and Zhaire Smith has a broken foot.

When will this end?

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