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Stay or Go: Should Paul Reed return as Sixers’ backup center?

In the first of our Stay or Go series, we look at big man and restricted free agent Paul Reed.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Daryl Morey and the rest of the Philadelphia 76ers have quite the summer of decisions ahead of them. With several members of last season’s rotation about to hit the free agent market, the team once again must choose how much of a core to retain that failed to make it past the second round of the playoffs.

They currently have zero picks in the upcoming draft, so the open market is the only opportunity they’ll have to make changes for next season’s roster.

In this new series we’ll evaluate key members of last year’s Sixers team and ask the simple question: Should he stay or go?

Paul Reed, restricted free agent

Despite having to wait until February to become the full-time backup center, Reed had the best year of his career in 2022-2023. His 4.6 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game and 57.9 field goal percentage were all his highest averages for a season.

He experienced a bit of a coming out party in round one against the Brooklyn Nets, hitting a through-the-legs dribble move that caused the entire Wells Fargo Center in Game 1 to chant “B-ball Paul”.

His career-high 15 rebounds in Game 4 helped clinch the series as this was far and away the best season the team has ever had when Embiid has had to sit. They went 11-5 without the big fella in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs. Reed’s ability to defend the rim and rebound forced him to stay in the rotation despite Doc Rivers and James Harden feeling more comfortable with other options offensively.

Reed may be the easiest player this summer to retain, as he is the only Sixer who will enter restricted free agency, meaning the team can match any other offer he may get. More importantly, if the Sixers didn’t bring back Reed, who would they get to back up Embiid next year?

Of the other centers who will hit free agency, hardly any are viable options for this team. Brook Lopez is still a starting-caliber center and will likely stay with Milwaukee. Nikola Vucevic has been an albatross for the Chicago Bulls the last couple of seasons. Naz Reid and Jakob Poeltl could be solid options, but both will likely be paid more money than the Sixers are looking to spend here.

After that, the options quickly become the Blake Griffins and DeAndre Jordans of the world. So while the James Harden decision will have an imprint on the franchise for years to come, the Sixers should prioritize keeping Reed, as they might not have better options.


Should Paul Reed stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    (1111 votes)
  • 2%
    (28 votes)
1139 votes total Vote Now

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