Paul Reed

Atlantic Notes: Kornet, Griffin, Reed, Brunson, Nets

When word broke on Friday that the Celtics have agreed to sign Blake Griffin, we noted that injuries to Danilo Gallinari and Robert Williams helped necessitate the move. However, those aren’t the only Boston frontcourt players dealing with health problems.

According to Jared Weiss and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), Celtics big man Luke Kornet sprained his ankle in practice this week and is expected to miss at least one or two weeks.

Kornet doesn’t have a fully guaranteed salary, but finished last season with the Celtics and has a partial guarantee on his new contract with the team, so he looks like a good bet to make the 15-man regular season roster, despite this setback.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Noting that the Celtics repeatedly targeted Blake Griffin on defense during their first-round victory over Brooklyn in the spring, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston weighs whether the former No. 1 overall pick still has enough left in the tank to be an asset to his new team.
  • While the Sixers still view Paul Reed primarily as a center, they’re taking a look at him as a power forward during training camp, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Reed, who played the four at DePaul, is enjoying the opportunity. “I am happy about being able to switch on and guard smaller defenders,” Reed said. “And playing on the wing, being able to attack from the outside, I like doing that.”
  • New Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson is downplaying the pressure that comes along with his big new contract and the expectation that he’ll become New York’s long-awaited answer at point guard. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News has the story and the quotes.
  • Nick Friedell of ESPN takes a look at the five biggest questions facing the Nets this season. Beyond the obvious ones relating to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons, Friedell examines how head coach Steve Nash might respond to a disappointing season and a tumultuous summer, and wonders if the team has enough depth at center.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Mitchell, Tatum, Embiid, Reed

The Knicks can deal up to eight first-rounders, including up to four unprotected picks, in a potential trade with the Jazz for Donovan Mitchell. They could add at least three first-round swaps, as well as young talents such as RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin.

Those factors give New York an edge over other potential suitors for Mitchell, Fred Katz of The Athletic writes. Katz breaks down possible offers from the Wizards, Heat, Raptors, Hornets, Kings and Hawks — the other teams reportedly interested in a Mitchell deal — and how the Knicks might top them.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jayson Tatum is brimming with confidence the Celtics will win the title next season, fortified by the additions of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, he told The Athletic’s Jared Weiss“I mean, what kind of teammate would I be if I said no?” he said. “We got this close, and we added two really good players. I think it makes us better.” Tatum is staying out of the way of other potential moves, including chatter regarding a Kevin Durant blockbuster. “(President of basketball operations Brad Stevens) lets me do my thing. I let him do his thing,” he said. “In all honesty, that’s his decision and that’s his job.”
  • Winning the Most Valuable Player award would be a best-case scenario for the Sixers’ Joel Embiid next season, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com writes. The worst case scenario, beyond a significant injury, would be the superstar center growing disenchanted with the franchise’s inability to get over the hump in the postseason.
  • A best-case scenario for Sixers reserve Paul Reed, according to Neubeck, would be a more modest goal — getting more minutes and bringing youthful energy and production. A worse-case scenario would be for the Sixers to lose trust in Reed and wind up overusing  P.J. Tucker at the ‘five’ spot before the postseason.

Sixers Notes: New Arena Plan, Joe, Reed, Bassey

The Sixers announced on Thursday morning that they’ve created a new development company, named 76 Devcorp, to spearhead a $1.3 billion project to build a privately funded downtown arena, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN details. The 76ers’ lease at Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia expires in 2031 and the team is aiming to move into a new arena for the 2031/32 season.

“We know the best thing, we believe, for the city, for our fans and for our organization, is to be downtown in a state-of-the-art facility that’s going to be privately funded by our ownership team,” team president Tad Brown told ESPN. “And that’s going to create a brand-new environment, a whole new environment, that’s going to also really give a great economic boost in a development boost to a part of town that really needs it.”

According to Brown and Philadelphia business leader David Adelman, who will head up 76 Devcorp, there are currently no plans to accelerate the project to move into the new arena prior to 2031.

As Bontemps writes, it’s unclear whether the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers – who currently share the Wells Fargo Center – would accompany the Sixers in their downtown move. Brown said the 76ers would like to have the Flyers join them, but intend to move forward with the project regardless of the NHL team’s plan.

Here’s more on the Sixers

Atlantic Notes: Porter, Raptors, Knicks, Celtics, Reed

Otto Porter Jr.‘s two-year contract with the Raptors, which includes a player option for 2023/24, will have a total value of $12.4MM, reports Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca (Twitter link).

Because Porter’s first-year salary will only be about $6MM, Toronto isn’t using more than the taxpayer portion ($6.48MM) of the mid-level exception to complete his deal and won’t be hard-capped as a result of the signing.

However, if the Raptors want to give second-round pick Christian Koloko a starting salary higher than the minimum and/or a deal longer than two years, they would need to use a portion of the MLE, meaning they’ll exceed the taxpayer MLE limit and would have a hard cap of $156.98MM for the 2022/23 league year.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • In assessing the Knicks‘ offseason moves to date, Zach Braziller of The New York Post suggests that the club could still use one more wing after trading Alec Burks to Detroit. Here’s our list of the free agent wings who are still on the board.
  • Ethan Fuller of BasketballNews.com takes a look at how Malcolm Brogdon will fit in with the Celtics and what the acquisition means for the team going forward.
  • Sixers big man Paul Reed won’t be on the team’s Las Vegas Summer League roster, but he’s suiting up for the 76ers at the Salt Lake City Summer League this week and will look to show he deserves a regular spot in the team’s rotation next season. “I mean it’s an opportunity for me to get better, honestly,” Reed said, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I feel like going into next season, I have a chance to show them what I’ve been working on, so I can prove my value. That’s kind of my mindset. I just want to get better.”

Sixers Notes: Reed, Heat Series, Harden, Small-Ball Lineups

Young Sixers big man Paul Reed seems enthused for his larger role with the club after serving as the team’s primary backup center behind Joel Embiid during its first round matchup against the Raptors, per Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 6’9″ 22-year-old was selected with the No. 58 out of DePaul in 2020.

“I’ve just got to take full advantage of it and make sure that I help the team win any way I can,” Reed said during Philadelphia’s eventual 4-2 defeat of Toronto. “That’s the most important thing for me.”

Reed averaged 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in the Toronto series. In Game 1 against the Heat, an eventual 106-92 loss, Reed played for 13 minutes, scoring four points on 2-of-6 shooting, while pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out four assists. He also recorded a steal and a block.

He’s learning so fast and he’s a hell of a player,” fellow Sixers reserve center DeAndre Jordan, who started for Game 1 ahead of Reed, said. “So we’re going to need that from him, mistakes and all.” 

There’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • Reed expressed confidence that the Sixers can defeat the Heat, regardless of their Game 1 loss in Miami, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Honestly, I think we can definitely beat this team,” Reed said. “We go out there and be more physical than them and play more aggressive. Keep them on their heels. They’re going to fold. We saw that happen in the second quarter and a little bit in the first. I think that’s one thing we realized facing this team.” Reed considers defense the club’s most imperative task in beating the Heat. “The only thing we have to worry about is locking them down every possession and getting out in transition,” he said. “Once we do that, they can’t stop us.” 
  • Considering that MVP finalist Joel Embiid will be sidelined until at least Game 3 with an orbital fracture and concussion, the Sixers clearly need 2018 MVP point guard James Harden to help carry the club’s burden on offense. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN wonders if the veteran All-Star is up to the task at this stage in his career. Shelburne notes that Harden has not scored 25 points or more across 11 straight playoff games, including Game 1. Harden struggled to create space as the focal point of Miami’s defensive attention with his All-Star center counterpart out. “They did a really good job of just boxes and elbows, showing their bodies and crowding the ball when the ball screens came,” Harden said. “But I think the shot-making is what opens up the floor for our entire team.”
  • With Embiid sidelined, the Sixers explored some smaller lineups against the Heat in Game 1, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Head coach Doc Rivers conceded that some small-ball rotations proved more effective than others. “We love Paul [Millsap], but… I don’t love the matchup with Paul and Bam Adebayo,” Rivers said. “We wanted more speed on the floor [than Jordan or Millsap], so we could do more switching. When we go zone and switch, we like Paul Reed on the floor.” Rivers went on to suggest that he likes lineups with Georges Niang or Reed at center surrounded by shooters elsewhere, but that the team struggled to secure rebounds against Miami with those players at center in the second half.

Sixers, Nets Haven’t Engaged In Recent Trade Talks

Although a report on Friday stated that the Sixers intend to pursue James Harden prior to this week’s trade deadline and that the Nets are open to talking, it doesn’t sound as if any discussions have occurred between the two teams since then.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey reached out to Sean Marks of the Nets about a month ago to ask about Harden and was flatly turned down. That exchange it still the only direct communication between Morey and Marks this season, per ESPN’s duo.

Both Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report have also heard the two teams haven’t talked at all lately, with Pompey citing a source who referred to the conversation a month ago as “non-productive.”

Fischer suggests the Nets have no plans to discuss any Harden trade scenarios before Thursday’s trade deadline and Pompey hears from one source that Simmons won’t be traded until at least the draft. However, Wojnarowski and Shelburne aren’t yet closing the door on the possibility that the two teams will take this week, and neither is Pompey, who says Brooklyn and Philadelphia are going through third parties and back-channels to get information.

“It’s the most bizarre thing,” a source told Pompey. “It’s almost as if they are playing a game of cat and mouse … because of all the tampering [implications].”

Despite his assertion that the Nets have no plans to discuss Harden this week, Fischer does say there are people within the organization who have openly mentioned their interest in a swap involving Harden and Ben Simmons. Meanwhile, two people who have “significant history” with Harden believed he’s interested in the possibility of joining the Sixers, sources tell Wojnarowski and Shelburne.

Still, ESPN’s report suggests the two teams have a difference of opinions on which side has more leverage. According to Woj and Shelburne, the Sixers believe they shouldn’t have to add many assets to make a Simmons/Harden swap because the Nets risk losing their star guard for nothing in the offseason. But Brooklyn, recognizing all the talent and assets the capped-out Sixers may have to sacrifice to sign Harden outright this summer, would push for a significant package.

“Why would Brooklyn accept anything less now than the assets it would cost Philly to unload contracts and create the space this summer?” one GM said to ESPN.

Here are some more updates from ESPN, Bleacher Report, and The Philadelphia Inquirer on the Simmons/Harden situation:

  • The Nets would want additional pieces besides Simmons in any deal for Harden, but Pompey says the Sixers aren’t willing to include Tyrese Maxey in any trade and view Matisse Thybulle as “close to untouchable.” When the two teams had a brief discussion last month, Philadelphia asked if Brooklyn was interested in Paul Reed and Isaiah Joe, says Pompey. According to Fischer, Reed and Joe are the two players most frequently mentioned by rival executives as possible 76ers trade candidates.
  • Harden doesn’t currently have an agent, but he and manager Lorenzo McCloud are looking to hire representation, at least temporarily, with his free agency looming, according to Wojnarowski and Shelburne.
  • Without an agent to talk to, the Nets have to rely on direct communication with Harden, which may be one reason why the team has had a hard time getting a read on his intentions. ESPN’s duo describes the partnership between the Nets and Harden as “murky,” noting that the former MVP has said he’s committed to the team, but his actions – including “private grousing” about Nets coaches, teammates, and the organization – have hinted otherwise. Pompey hears from sources that some people in the organization are “privately questioning (Harden’s) commitment to remaining in Brooklyn, and becoming frustrated with the uncertainty.”
  • Although Kevin Durant wants Harden to stay in Brooklyn, he wants a committed Harden, according to Wojnarowski and Shelburne, who say Durant isn’t telling Nets ownership or management what they should do at the deadline. A source tells Pompey that key Brooklyn players wouldn’t be hugely disappointed if Harden is ultimately moved, due to uncertainty about his true feelings.
  • Sources tell Fischer that some people around Simmons want him to return to the court for the Sixers if he’s not dealt at the deadline. However, multiple people associated with Simmons’ representation insist that’s not going to happen, Fischer writes.
  • In trade discussions with the Hawks and Kings, the Sixers broached the idea of attaching Tobias Harris to Simmons, but they haven’t engaged in many talks about Harris beyond that, Fischer says. Multiple league sources who have spoken to Bleacher Report have speculated that the Thunder could be a willing trade partner if Philadelphia is motivated to get off of Harris’ contract.

Latest On Kings’ Pursuit Of Ben Simmons

After Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that Ben Simmons appears to be “front and center” in the Kings‘ trade deadline plans and said the team is open to acquiring Tobias Harris along with Simmons, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has published a report with more details on Sacramento’s pursuit of the Sixers‘ star.

According to Pompey, sources have repeatedly stated the Sixers aren’t interested in a deal headlined by De’Aaron Fox, who would be one of the Kings’ best trade chips.

One source tells Pompey the Kings have considered offering Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and two first-round picks in exchange for Simmons, Harris, and Matisse Thybulle. However, that source also said the Sixers aren’t interested in that package; a second source tells Pompey that Philadelphia has yet to receive a formal offer from Sacramento.

Pompey hears from that second source that the Kings and Sixers haven’t discussed Philadelphia’s younger players like Thybulle, whom the source classifies as borderline untouchable. However, sources tell Pompey that Sacramento has done background work on Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, and Paul Reed.

Even if the Kings were willing to put the aforementioned Haliburton/Hield/Barnes offer on the table, they’d need to either reroute Harris to a third team or add at least one more player – such as Tristan Thompson or Marvin Bagley III – to make the deal work financially.

The Kings and Sixers haven’t yet gained any “significant traction” on a deal, Pompey writes.

Here are a few more noteworthy tidbits from Pompey’s report:

  • The Sixers have denied that they’re shopping Harris or want to attach him to a Simmons trade, but multiple teams and sources have told Pompey that’s the case.
  • According to Pompey, before sending Cam Reddish to New York, the Hawks considered offering John Collins, Reddish, and a first-round pick for Simmons, but the Sixers brought Harris’ name into discussions, ending those talks.
  • Pompey confirmed there are league executives who believe the Sixers would be comfortable hanging onto Simmons for the rest of the season. He also confirmed that the three-time All-Star is prepared to sit out the remainder of the season in that scenario.
  • Sources tell Pompey that the 76ers are continuing to fine Simmons for the games he misses, but not for more minor infractions.

COVID-19 Updates: Beal, Gill, Pacers, Pritchard, Young, Sixers

Wizards guard Bradley Beal re-entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Tuesday, as Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. It’s Beal’s second protocol-related absence within the last month — he missed three games between December 23-28 due to contact tracing, Robbins notes.

Unlike last season, when any player determined to be a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was placed in the protocols, those guidelines only apply to unvaccinated players this season. Beal began the season unvaccinated, but confirmed when he returned in late December that he had recently received the vaccine. That could mean his absence this time around isn’t related to contact tracing, and that he returned a positive or inconclusive test.

The Wizards did get one piece of good news on Tuesday afternoon, as forward Anthony Gill exited the protocols, per Robbins (Twitter link). That means Beal is currently the only Washington player affected.

Here are more protocol-related updates from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers announced on Tuesday that Caris LeVert and Goga Bitadze have exited the health and safety protocols, as James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star writes. Both players have a chance to be available on Wednesday vs. Boston. They’re listed as questionable for now.
  • The Celtics no longer have any players in the COVID-19 protocols, as guard Payton Pritchard has been cleared, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link).
  • Spurs forward Thaddeus Young is no longer in the health and safety protocols, tweets Paul Garcia of Project Spurs. However, San Antonio still has five players in the protocols, tied with Utah for the highest current total in the league.
  • Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey and forward Paul Reed aren’t listed on the team’s latest injury report, indicating that they’ve both cleared the protocols (Twitter links via Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia).
  • Of approximately 2,400 “tier 1” staffers working for NBA teams, there have been more than 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 this season, creating major challenges for franchises, writes Baxter Holmes of ESPN. “You’re basically taking an assembly of people who help the athletes and taking a few people off the line every few days for a week or more,” one athletic training official told ESPN. “It has interfered significantly with the regular protocols and people being given responsibilities/duties they don’t normally have or are even qualified to do in order to get the job done. It’s been the Wild Wild West.”

Latest Salary Guarantees: D. Lee, Reed, Hartenstein, Sykes, M. Thomas

Warriors swingman Damion Lee will have the rest of his 2021/22 salary guaranteed, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). The news doesn’t come as a surprise, as Lee has been with Golden State for four seasons and has been part of the regular rotation for three of those.

Lee, who will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, will now have his $1,910,860 cap hit for ’21/22 locked in. The Warriors are also guaranteeing Gary Payton II’s rest-of-season salary, so the team won’t have create any new openings on its 15-man roster.

Here are more updates on players who are affected by today’s salary guarantee deadline:

  • The Sixers will keep Paul Reed through the deadline, guaranteeing his salary, tweets Scotto. Reed, who is earning $1,517,981 in 2021/22, also has a non-guaranteed minimum salary for next season before he becomes eligible for restricted free agency in 2023. The 6’9″ forward has averaged 2.3 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 19 games (9.4 MPG) for Philadelphia in his second NBA season.
  • Clippers center Isaiah Hartenstein will have his full-season salary guaranteed, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Hartenstein, earning $1,729,217, was always one of the safer bets to survive the salary guarantee deadline, since he played a key role in L.A.’s frontcourt, putting up 7.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 1.3 BPG in just 16.4 MPG (29 games).
  • After recently signing a two-year contract with the Pacers, Keifer Sykes will have his rest-of-season salary guaranteed, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Sykes, who made a strong impression in the G League, is off to a strong start at the NBA level too, averaging 10.4 PPG and 3.6 APG in his first five games (26.8 MPG). Since he didn’t sign until December 27, Sykes’ prorated rookie-minimum salary is worth just $558,345.
  • The Bulls will hang onto sharpshooter Matt Thomas, guaranteeing his minimum-salary contract for 2021/22, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Thomas has only appeared in 13 games for Chicago and his three-point rate (34.6%) is well below his career rate (40.5%), but the team apparently values his ability to stretch the floor. He’ll make $1,669,178 this season before becoming eligible for restricted free agency. The Bulls will also have to make a decision today on Alfonzo McKinnie‘s non-guaranteed contract.

COVID-19 Updates: Noel, Hornets, Pacers, Ingles, Reed, Bucks, Metu

Knicks center Nerlens Noel has cleared the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per New York’s PR team (Twitter link). Noel entered the protocols in late December.

The 6’11” big man has only appeared in 17 contests, starting 10, for New York so far this season. The 27-year-old out of Kentucky is averaging 3.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG and 1.1 SPG across 23.1 MPG. Knee injuries kept Noel absent for much of the start of the 2021/22 season. He signed a lucrative three-year, $32MM contract with the Knicks during the offseason.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates: