The Cleveland Cavaliers sign Zhaire Smith to an Exhibit 10 contract. What does this mean and how will he fit into this roster?
An Exhibit 10 contract is a one year contract (for league minimum, non-guaranteed salary) in which the team has the option to make the player two-way. This option must be made before the start of the regular season, though.
It also grants access to the team’s training camp for the player. This gives them the chance to both impress their new team and get to familiarize themselves with their new teammates and style of play.
Smith was the 16th overall pick, taken by Philadelphia, back in the 2018 NBA draft. In his single season at Texas Tech he averaged 11.3 points, five rebounds, 1.8 assists, one steal and one block per game. He also did this on a 55.6 field goal percentage and a 45 percent three point percentage. Not particularly spectacular, but overall solid numbers.
Once he reached the NBA, however, injuries immediately became an issue. This limited him to playing only 13 games over his first two seasons, filled with undeveloped play as a result. In this short NBA career he averaged 3.7 points, 1.2 rebounds and just under one assist per game, never scoring more than 17 points. In 2020 he was traded to and waived by Detroit. He did also sign an Exhibit 10 contract with Memphis the same offseason he was waived by the Pistons, but this also didn’t pan out. He hasn’t played in the NBA since.
Smith in Cleveland
Cleveland will likely convert Smith’s contract to a two-way, meaning he will spend most of his time with the Charge. Smith played both shooting guard and small forward, meaning he will mainly be competing for minutes with Sam Merrill, Craig Porter Jr, and Emoni Bates. Considering the caliber of play these three guys showed in the Summer League, Smith may take time to work his way into a consistently-used role.
Depending on how Ricky Rubio looks this season, however, the need for a backup point guard may be needed in Cleveland. This could work to Smith’s benefit, seeing as though the call-up would probably be one of the aforementioned players. This would create an opening in the lineup at either point guard or shooting guard, meaning players would have to have their minutes adjusted in order to accommodate.
If a point guard, such as Porter Jr or Sharife Cooper were called up, another guard on the roster would move to point because the other guards on the Charge all split that way rather than small forward. This would give Smith a chance to play more time at shooting guard.If a shooting guard were to be called up, such as Bates, Smith would then get more time at forward.
Whether Smith plays for the Cavaliers, the Charge or is waived, The Cleveland Cavaliers have just signed him to an Exhibit 10 contract. It’s time for fans to cheer on his success.
Featured photo courtesy of NBA.com
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