Terquavion Smith Flashes Potential for Sixers in Summer League Play

Mandatory Credit: Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers went without a single draft pick in the 2023 NBA draft. However, they still managed to come away from it with a player who has the talent to possibly crack the team’s rotation next season. Terquavion Smith went undrafted, presumably due to his lack of size, before being signed by Philadelphia to a 2-way contract. Smith, in his first action in a Sixers uniform, is flashing loads of potential in the NBA summer leagues.

Coming out of college, Smith was known for being a quick-twitch athlete with solid outside shooting ability. In two seasons at North Carolina State, Smith shot 35.2% from beyond the arc on 8 attempts per game. His outside shooting has thus far been the defining characteristic to carry over into this summer. In five games between the Salt Lake City and Las Vegas summer leagues, Smith scored 15.6 points per game while shooting 37.8% from 3-point range on 9 attempts per game.

While he is a good shooter, at times he can be a little too willing to let it go from beyond the arc. It has not come back to haunt him much so far this summer. However, it is clear Smith could benefit from cleaning up his shot selection.

Smith’s biggest NBA trait is his scoring ability, but he has also shown some potential in other areas of his game this summer. In college, he averaged just 3.1 assists per game. That number has increased to 4.2 this summer. While it has not always been pretty, there have been some positive moments from Smith as a passer. This pass setting up Azuolas Tubelis for a layup was one of Smith’s better dimes of the summer.

Smith is a solid scorer, but he needs to continue to improve as a point guard. Passes like the one above need to become more routine for Smith. If he is going to make it in the NBA, he will need to further develop his passing and floor vision abilities. One of the current issues with his passing that has popped up this summer is his tendency to make jump passes. That tendency can often lead to turnovers, and NBA defenses will certainly take advantage.

The biggest thing that caused Smith to go undrafted was defensive questions centered around his lack of size. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 165 pounds, Smith is liable to get pushed around and attacked defensively. His defense this summer has been alright as he has been able to use his speed and energy to force some turnovers. However, opposing teams at the NBA level are going to attack him relentlessly. Smith’s size will cause him to struggle getting around screens, making him a liability defensively.

Smith’s defensive weaknesses make continuing to develop the other parts of his game all the more important. He currently thrives on both his scoring ability and energy on the floor. The 20-year old’s performances this summer have been one of the team’s biggest positive takeaways from summer league play. However, he will need to develop more of a well-rounded skillset before cracking the Sixers’ rotation. Only time will tell if Smith is going to make those necessary improvements. As of this moment, getting Smith as an undrafted player has the potential to be a major steal for the Sixers.