Over the next few weeks, we’ll be profiling every player currently on the Sixers’ roster ahead of training camp, which begins on September 28.
Age: 22 (turns 23 in June)
Contract status: Reed is entering year two of a three-year, $3.9 million contract with the Sixers.
Background info: The Sixers selected Reed with the 58th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft after the big man completed three years at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Hailed as a defensive Swiss Army knife with stretch potential — yet destined to drop in the draft due to his unheralded school and relatively advanced age — Reed began the season with the Sixers on a two-way contract, prescribed to spend the majority of his time with the Delaware Blue Coats in the G League. There, he made a massive impact on not only the Blue Coats but on the NBA’s developmental league at large. Reed was awarded both the G League’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player trophies, averaging 22.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.8 blocks on .588/.444/.789 shooting splits in 15 games with Delaware.
Following a lengthy playoff run with the Blue Coats, Reed was rewarded by the Sixers, who converted his two-way deal into a full roster spot prior to the conclusion of the regular season.
With the Sixers, Reed played sparingly. He averaged 3.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in only 6.8 minutes per game across his 26 appearances.
Reed has been hard at work this summer, as he recently performed extremely well for the Sixers’ Summer League squad. He was named to the All-Summer League Second Team.
76ers PAUL REED had one of the best Summer League stat lines ever:— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) August 16, 2021
Despite his scant deployment with the big club, Reed quickly endeared himself to Sixers fans and teammates alike, with his relentless hard work in practice and his magnetic personality on social media. In April, Reed even guested on The Gastroenteritis Blues podcast on the Liberty Ballers Podcast Network for a brief but delightful interview.
Season outlook: It’s difficult to predict just how much we can expect to see Reed play with the Sixers this year. Despite his consistent praise of Reed’s work ethic and tools, head coach Doc Rivers was extremely hesitant to play Reed in any high-leverage situations last year. Even as Dwight Howard struggled mightily in the Hawks series and the Sixers seemed desperate for some juice, Reed remained glued to the pine.
It’s easy to see what the Sixers’ brass likes in Reed. Even if you don’t trust the viability of his 3-point shot — despite his strong G League percentage — due to his wonky mechanics, Reed has thus far shown at every level that he can be an effective and versatile defender in the modern NBA. Although Rivers may peg Reed as too much of a tweener (neither a good enough shooter to play serious minutes at power forward nor adept enough a rim protector to lay claim to the backup center position), I hope he gives BBall Paul a closer look in non-garbage time minutes this year. Andre Drummond will assuredly be the incumbent at the backup 5 heading into the year, but the Sixers ought to know by now that they need to feel real confidence in at least two non-Joel Embiid center options on the roster come playoff time.
Should he find a way to consistently utilize his tools and athleticism against NBA competition someday soon, Paul Reed could very well provide the Sixers with a much-needed burst of versatility in its frontcourt.