July 05, 2019
When the Sixers traded for Zhaire Smith during last summer's NBA Draft, the messaging around what kind of player he could turn into was clear: the kind of hyper-athletic guy who dominates the league's slam dunk highlight tapes.
Smith missed nearly his entire rookie season with a combination of freakish injuries and allergies, but he started his second NBA season with an absolute bang Friday in the team's first Summer League game.
It's always good to temper expectations based on Summer League performances, but these dunks need no temperance. They're just insane.
Here's Smith's first alley-oop of the day, which was also the first basket of the day:
That's a good find from Shake Milton, but you're going to want to rewind the tape. Watch how fast he goes from on the ground to full extension. Pause the clip when Smith's hands are at their highest point. Take all of that in.
Enjoy another angle, while you're at it:
I very much hope Smith one day competes in the NBA Dunk Contest, because that isn't normal.
Neither, of course, is his second alley-oop, an absolute screamer with a huge head of steam that reminds me of the reverse slams LeBron James was so fond of last season:
This clip is so good, both because the dunk is great, and for some unexpected comedy.
Watch the Bucks' No. 18, who is trailing Smith as the clip begins. One second in, he points to Smith, who is very clearly about to dunk the basketball, as if to say, "Hey, watch this guy! He is about to dunk, I think it'll be good!"
Smith, of course, then proceeds to dunk the basketball.
The internet seems to be excited about watching more from Smith:
Zhaire Smith having a personal dunk contest— FastLifeYoungin (@Tom_Flies) July 5, 2019
Zhaire Smith can fly. Gonna be a nice player for Sixers— Scott K (@ScottyKuz) July 5, 2019
My opinion after 3 quarters of Summer League basketball: Zhaire Smith will be a Hall of Famer— Justin Lever 🦅💚⚾️ (@JustinLever2) July 5, 2019
Zhaire Smith is gonna be a problem— ً (@MavsGotNext) July 5, 2019
Zhaire Smith out here acting like the rim is a sesame seed. Bullying the hell out of it. #Sixers— James Bailey 🎙 (@jimsbailey) July 5, 2019
I, too, believe Smith is going to be fun to watch. Oh, and the Sixers won, 107-106.