Cavs to Sign Former First-Round Pick Zhaire Smith

The Cavaliers intend to sign shooting guard Zhaire Smith to an Exhibit 10 training camp contract, agent Adie von Gontard told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.Zhaire Smith

Smith, 24, is 6-foot-3 and has battled knee injuries since about the time the 76ers selected him with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He has appeared in just 13 NBA games, all with Philadelphia, as a result. 

The Sixers traded Smith to the Pistons during the summer of 2020 and he was quickly waived. He has not played since — though he was on the roster of the G League’s Memphis Hustle during the 2020-21 season.

That said, Smith did play for the Thunder in the most recent Summer League, compiling averages of 6.0 and a sizzling 75 percent shooting in four games.

“Every year I was like, ‘Oh, I’m about to play, I’m about to play,’ then there was just a setback,” Smith said, via Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman. “I didn’t know what was going on with my knees, and that was the hardest part.”

Smith’s Exhibit 10 deal means he will count toward the preseason roster of 21, but not the standard roster unless he makes the team. So he very well could be in line for a spot on the Cleveland Charge, the Cavs’ affiliate in the G League.

Cleveland still has three spots available on its roster for training camp, which tips off on Oct. 2.

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