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Former Sixer Zhaire Smith is making a G League comeback

Zhaire Smith is back playing basketball, and looks as healthy and athletic as ever.

2023 G League Winter Showcase - Oklahoma City Blue v Cleveland Charge Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/NBAE via Getty Images

Zhaire Smith, the super athletic 6-foot-3 guard who was with the Sixers from 2018 to 2020, came close to death following a severe allergic reaction, and dealt with a serious knee injury, is making his comeback.

He’s signed Exhibit 10 deals with Memphis in 2020 and Cleveland last September, but hadn’t actually played in a game in the NBA or G League since the 2019-20 season.

Now, though, he’s healthy and back playing basketball. And already putting together quite an array of highlights as a member of the Cleveland Charge.

He’s averaging 9.3 points, four rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.8 blocks, along with 37.5 percent shooting from three on two attempts in 33.7 minutes per game (per NBA G League Stats). He’s even flashing some more confidence with his jumper and pull-up attempts, which has always been the weaker part of his game. And as you’d expect from someone who’s always been a high-level defensive prospect, Smith’s also bringing physical, explosive, versatile defense.

Zhaire’s clearly dunking as well as ever, too, with 360s, posters, and put-backs all in his recent highlight reels.

You can see him going to work with some plays in the game highlights below from Saturday as well. He absolutely flies and powers through a helpless defender with a poster dunk at the 2:45 mark.

Unfortunately, things never worked out for Zhaire with the Sixers, but it’s great to see him playing basketball again and finding success. Hopefully now that he has good health on his side and a situation where he can play a significant role, he can make the most of his opportunity and carve out a solid career in the G League. He’s still only 24 years old, with more potential and heaps of athleticism he can tap into.

And who knows... if things keep going well, maybe he’ll get another shot in the NBA some time.

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