clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Freaky Friday: Zhaire Smith is heir apparent to Kawhi Leonard

Parallels in a not so parallel universe

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

Happy Friday folks! We did it! Give yourself a pat on the back.. or don’t that is fine too.

In case you have been living under a Patrick Star-sized rock, Zhaire Smith has signed with Roc Nation, AKA The Fighting Jay-Z’s, and will find his professional home in just under 50 days.

As a lifelong San Antonio Spurs fan, I’m starting cope with the realistic possibility that Kawhi Leonard will no longer play for the silver and black. The Spurs pick 18th in this year’s NBA Draft and could be looking to replace their superstar. San Antonio got Leonard in a trade with the Indiana Pacers with the 15th overall pick. I project that Zhaire could go as early as pick 10 and I would be shocked to see him slide past pick 20.

Below are scouting reports regarding these two players:

“______ is a probable lottery pick whose best basketball is still ahead of him. Given his rapid acclimation to college basketball as a freshman... _____ has proven that he’s willing to work hard to excel. The things you hear most about ______ are he’s got a motor that’s stuck on high gear and he’s a matchup nightmare because of his ability to score so many different ways. And his length and hands, combined with great athleticism, make him a formidable defender.”

-Chris Dortch writer for The Athletic

“_____ came out of nowhere to establish himself as a legitimate NBA prospect over the course of this season thanks to his outlier athleticism and surprising feel for the game... with his tenacious defense and ability to do the little things on offense... He faces real questions about his ability to add value on offense without a reliable jump shot or particularly advanced handle, but _____ brings a high floor with his athleticism, feel, and defensive versatility.

-Jackson Hoy writer for The Stiepen

One of these is a scouting report for Zhaire Smith and the other for Kawhi Leonard, leading up to the 2011 NBA Draft. (Comment below with your best guess to fill in the blank and I may give you a prize. Probably not though)

Both players were constantly referred to as “high motor guys,” and were given high marks on the defensive end. Both players were knocked for not having a consistent jumper from deep. I’m not saying Zhaire is Kawhi right now... but imagine if Zhaire Smith was given the same coaching as Leonard in San Antonio.

Pretty freaky if you ask me.