Following the 2021 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks signed Mike Smith to a summer league deal. Mike Smith is a 5’11 Point Guard, weighing 185 pounds. He is a little on the older side at 23-years-old as he stayed for four full seasons and a red-shirt season at the collegiate level. He started his collegiate career at Columbia University. There he played three full seasons before transferring to Michigan, after 2019-2020, for his final collegiate season.
Time at Columbia
Mike Smith played 92 games during his tenure at Columbia. There, he averaged 18 points, 4.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. His shooting splits were 41.1% from the field, 33.1% from 3PT range, and 82.8% from the Free Throw line.
His best season on Columbia was his last one, his junior year (2019-2020), where he averaged 22.8 points, 4.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Smith shot 43% from the field, 34% from 3PT range, and 81.3% from the Free Throw line.
Mike Smith seems like he has an Eric Bledsoe-type playstyle. He can play solid defense, is a decent playmaker, and can score. As it was with Eric Bledsoe, Smith’s 3PT scoring can be inconsistent at times. He’s shown he can make 5 3-pointers in a game on 50% shooting, but other times he can shoot 1-9 from 3PT range.
Despite the struggles from 3PT range, he can score. His final season with Columbia was pure dominance as a scorer. In 30 games, he scored 20+ points 23 times. He didn’t score under 10 points at all and only scored under 15 once. He also led the Ivy League in scoring by outscoring the next closest person by 5 points per game. Smith was also 2nd in the Ivy League in assists. Smith was also a two-time All-Second-team in the Ivy League.
Time at Michigan
Smith saw his offensive production drop once he transferred to Michigan. This can be attributed to his shot attempts being cut in half. Throughout his tenure at Columbia, he was averaging 15.5 shot attempts per game. At Michigan, he only attempted 7.5 shots per game.
In his one season at Michigan, he averaged 9 points, 5.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and half a steal a game. He saw his points production drop drastically, but his 3PT percentage improved drastically. He improved from 34% at Columbia to 41.8% at Michigan. His FG% stayed roughly the same, at 41.2%.
Smith was an integral part of the Michigan Wolverines starting unit that made it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament. Smith posted his best defensive season against tougher opponents while playing for Michigan. He finished the season with a 102.7 defensive rating, 1.1 defensive win share, and a 1.7 defensive box plus/minus. All of those were career highs for Smith.
Mike Smith grew up a Chicago Bulls fan as he grew up in Illinois.
While in high school, Smith met former Chicago Bulls star, Jimmy Butler, and the two become good friends. He has actually lived with and trained with Jimmy Butler.
It is more than likely that Smith spends most of the 2021-2022 season in the G-League or as a Two-Way player. Unless he dazzles the Bucks in the summer league, it is unlikely he makes the initial roster. Smith does have some potential, as he can score, play make, and defend, but he will have to get all three aspects of his game working in tandem to succeed in the NBA.
The one thing going for Smith is that the Bucks don’t have any PG depth on the roster other than 60th pick Georgios Kalaitzakis. Smith and Kalaitzakis, although teammates, could be fighting each other for a roster spot during this upcoming summer league.
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