Detroit Pistons continue making trades, land Zhaire Smith from Philadelphia 76ers

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II

Marlowe Alter
 
| Detroit Free Press

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It’s a new week, but the Detroit Pistons are still making moves a week nearly after the NBA’s trade moratorium lifted. 

The Pistons traded center Tony Bradley to the Philadelphia 76ers and received Zhaire Smith in return, ESPN reported on Sunday. The trade brings some balance to a center-heavy roster, as Smith is a 6-foot-3 wing with elite athleticism.

The 16th pick of the 2018 NBA draft, Smith has played 13 games in two seasons partially due to injury struggles. A fractured foot and a sesame allergic reaction that landed him in the hospital delayed his rookie debut to March of 2019, when he played six games with the playoff-contending Sixers.

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He spent much of his second season in the G League with the Philadelphia Blue Coats, and averaged 13.5 points in 28 games, hitting 53% of his shots and 37.6% of his 4.2 3-point attempts per game (44-for-117). He played in seven games with the Sixers last season.

Smith, 21, makes $3.2 million this season on his rookie deal, with a team option for $4.9 million in 2021-22. The Pistons must exercise that option by Dec. 29.

An unheralded high school recruit, Smith shined as a forward at Texas Tech, where his work ethic, athleticism and defense helped him compete as a freshman against bigger players. He averaged 11.3 points, five rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks in starting 21 of 37 games, as the Red Raiders went 27-10, losing in the Elite Eight of the 2018 NCAA tournament. 

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He declared for the draft and was part of a trade with the Phoenix Suns, who acquired forward Mikal Bridges (the 10th pick) from the Sixers for Smith and an unprotected 2021 first-round pick via Miami.

The Pistons acquired the 22-year-old Bradley and his $3.5 million contract along with the No. 38 pick in the draft (Vanderbilt guard Saben Lee) on Wednesday from Utah for future considerations, including cash.

Bradley averaged 4.9 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Jazz last season. He was the 28th overall pick in 2017.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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