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Zhaire Smith broke his foot last year and then got sick as a dog with an alergy reaction.

But at 20, he is bigger and stronger than he was at this time last year, when he averaged 7.7 points per game on 32.1 percent shooting in summer league. Despite missing almost all of his rookie season, he made the leap that is expected from a second-year player in this setting, averaging 12.4 points per game on 48 percent shooting.

“I was pleased with my defense. I wanted to improve on not forcing shots. Looking back on last year, I was forcing stuff, trying to get my points up instead of letting the game come to me,” Smith said after an 84-81 loss to the Thunder on July 8. “I feel like I am playing more calm.”

But his dunks were what everyone in Vegas was talking about. By my count, Smith had nine in five games. One of my favorite things to watch this summer was how often he would point up in the air to ask his guards for an alley-oop. The 6-4 wing can stretch the defense vertically and force it to account for his leaping ability when he’s playing off the ball. It’s like playing a rim-running 7-footer at shooting guard.

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