Cavs sign former first-round pick Zhaire Smith to 10-day deal

CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers have added some depth on the wing via the G League. At least, that’s what they intend to find out over the next 10 days.Zhaire Smith

That’s because the Cavs signed shooting guard Zhaire Smith to a 10-day contract, the team announced on Sunday.

Smith, 24, is 6-foot-3 and is widely known as a strong backcourt defender. He was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft — then immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that also involved Mikal Bridges, now of the Brooklyn Nets.

Things haven’t gone so well for Smith in the NBA, as foot issues (and a pretty serious allergic reaction) dictated the early part of his career. He was traded to the Detroit Pistons, then waived, signed on with the Memphis Grizzlies, then waived … and eventually ended up in Cleveland this past fall, and yes, waived again.

But the Cavs clearly like what they see in Smith during his run with the Cleveland Charge, as he’s averaging 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.28 steals and shooting 40 percent on 3-pointers in 32 games.

He has a reputation as a guy who will work hard, has a great attitude and will really try to go out and defend. His father Billy played college basketball at Kansas State.

This is the Cavs’ second “call-up” of the season via the Charge, with forward and Akron product Pete Nance being the first.

The cruisin’ Cavs (35-16) have won nine in a row and 17 of 18 entering Monday’s home game vs. the Sixers. 

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