Full Name: Craig Smith (pictured below)
Date/Place of Birth: 11/10/1983-Inglewood, CA
Height/Weight: 6’ 7”, 265 lbs
Primary Position: PF/C
Projected Role: Backup PF/C
College: Boston College
NBA Draft: Drafted 36th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2006 NBA draft.
Honors: All-Rookie 2nd Team (2007)
Career Averages: 8.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, .9 APG, 1.1 TOPG, .2 BPG. 10-11 PER: 15.50
When you first look at him, Smith does not look like much. He’s short for his position, more than a little chunky and does not have a great vertical leap. However, if you watch him play you’ll quickly see why he’s one of the most underrated players in the league. Smith is an excellent finisher near the rim, shooting above 55% the last four seasons, and manages to draw a lot of fouls. He is a decent defender as well, ranking as an average defender for his position. Above all else, he is solid and someone you can put on the court without worrying too much about it all falling apart.
While he might make the most of what talent he has, Smith’s physical limitations are an issue. He is not the best conditioned player in the world and thus can often be overmatched by more physical players. He tends to compensate for these deficiencies on defense by fouling, and fouling a lot, at one of the highest rates in the league. In addition, perhaps because he is undersized, he is not a very good rebounder. Still, he is a solid player and as long as you work around these deficiencies, he will be a solid contributor on most teams.
Smith played with Marcus Camby on the Clippers and considers Camby a close friend/mentor.
Did You Know?:
Smith was given the nickname “Rhino” by Kevin McHale during his rookie season because of his tendency to use his size to bowl over opposing players.
Smith scored 2,349 points at Boston College, second in program history behind Troy Bell (who played only one year in the NBA despite being drafted 16th overall in 2003 by Memphis).
Smith appeared in a 2010 episode of “Entourage” as an extra.