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BREAKING: Zhaire Smith declares for NBA Draft

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Smith has not hired an agent opening the door for him to return to Texas Tech.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Texas Tech vs. Florida Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech freshman forward Zhaire Smith has officially declared for the NBA Draft. This comes as no surprise to most as the freshman forward has been projected to be drafted in the first round for the last month or so. An important detail of this development is that Smith has not hired an agent, meaning that he can still maintain his amateur status and come back to Texas Tech if so chooses. Smith announced his declaration on Twitter earlier today.

Smith was an honorable mention Big 12 player along with being on the All-Big 12 defensive team and the All-Big 12 newcomer team. He averaged 11 points and 5 rebounds per game for the Red Raiders. He ended the year with a three-point percentage of 45%. This is something that Smith has worked on all year.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Texas Tech vs. Stephen F. Austin Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Smith made headlines in the NCAA Tournament with tons of highlights including dunks and blocks while shooting impressively from behind the three-point line. Smith has been projected in the first round in most of the mock drafts I have looked at. It’s no surprise that NBA teams are looking at him simply for his athleticism. He has a chance to become an elite defender that can guard four positions on the floor. He is also a great finisher at the rim and is an attribute that teams look for.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Northwestern Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not Smith returns to Texas Tech, I personally wish him well. He was a major contributor on the best team in Tech’s history. His high-flying style of play is one to watch and is one that I enjoyed personally seeing many times in person. No matter where he ends up, I know that all of us in the Texas Tech nation wish him the best.

What do you think about Smith’s declaration to the NBA? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!