Leon Smith (born November 2, 1980 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American former professional basketball player. He played in the NBA, the CBA, the USBL and the IBL, and abroad in Puerto Rico and Argentina.
Smith was raised in a foster home, called Lydia Children's Home, as a ward of the state of Illinois due to neglect from his parents when he was five years old.
Smith was selected out of Chicago's Martin Luther King High School by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round (29th overall) of the 1999 NBA Draft and was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Gordan Giriček and a second-round pick in the 2000 NBA Draft. However, in subsequent months he suffered numerous psychological problems, and was released in February 2000 without ever playing a game for the Mavericks. A month previous, Smith was released from a psychiatric ward to where he was committed for several weeks, after an incident in which he threw a rock through a car window and swallowed approximately 250 aspirin tablets.
In January 2002, Smith was signed by the Atlanta Hawks for whom he played 14 games. His short stint with the Hawks involved being waived, signed back a second time, and eventually being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, for whom he never played.
Late in the 2003-04 NBA season, the Seattle SuperSonics signed Smith to a contract, but he only played one game for them.
^ Hard times for Leon Smith,
^ Mavericks release rookie Leon Smith,
^ Suspended Mavs rookie checks out of psychiatric ward,
^ Hawks transactions archive,
^ Sonics Sign Leon Smith