Paul Reed

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:

Sixers Notes: Floor/Ceiling, Reed, Milton, Personnel Changes

In a mailbag for The Philly Voice, Kyle Neubeck examines the potential floor and ceiling of the Sixers, assuming they take their current roster into the regular season.

As Neubeck outlines, a worst-case scenario would see a disgruntled Ben Simmons refusing to rejoin the team and president Daryl Morey sticking to his very high trade demands for the point guard, causing the Sixers to fall way behind during a difficult start to the season and not being able to recover, especially if Joel Embiid happens to miss any time due to injury.

What Neubeck refers to as the “pie in the sky” scenario is that – with last year’s playoff humiliation behind him – things click into place for Simmons, who comes back renewed and recommitted, and the Sixers continue their hunt for a championship. A more realistic ceiling, Neubeck writes, is that the team plays together for one more year, as Simmons returns to form, Tyrese Maxey takes a mini-leap and Embiid stays relatively healthy, all of which should combine to give the 76ers a decent chance against the other top teams in the East.

We have more on the Sixers:

  • Neubeck also examines the question of what G League and Summer League standout Paul Reed needs to add to his game to become a consistent rotation player. The two keys are the outside shot and converting his impressive shot-blocking numbers into genuine back-line organizational ability. There’s a difference between blocking shots and being the backbone of a team’s defense, Neubeck writes, but Reed showed improved decision-making under the Summer League coaches, and should be able to progress in that department in time.
  • As for guard Shake Milton and his role with the team moving forward, Neubeck writes that being the only consistent offensive force off the bench probably over-burdened the 24-year-old guard, but Maxey’s emergence as a point guard could help simplify Milton’s role as more of a pure scorer. Given that Milton is on a cheap contract and has proven capable of swinging a crucial playoff game single-handedly, Neubeck writes that there’s no reason to think he isn’t a part of the team’s plans.
  • In a surprise move, the Sixers dismissed several scouting and development staff members, tweets Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer. Scouts Rod Baker and Jordan Cohn were let go, as was Delaware Blue Coats GM Matt Lilly, among others. Pompey writes in a separate tweet that around 17 staff members were let go in the cost-cutting move. Senior Director of Equipment Operations Scott Rego, who had been with the team for 34 years, was among the firings.

Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Randle, Walker, Sixers

Nets rookie Cameron Thomas has shined during the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Thomas entered Sunday as the highest-scoring rookie in the event, proving his value as the No. 27 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

“People always want to doubt me and doubt my ability to score the ball,” Thomas said. “My progress has been great. I’ve been getting better game-to-game, getting a better feel for the game, feel for the pace…I think I’m doing real well.”

Thomas and the Nets will play the Spurs on Sunday night before finishing summer league on Tuesday.

Here are some other notes out of New York today:

  • Julius Randle‘s extension with the Knicks will likely be a win-win situation for both him and the team, says Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Randle is coming off a career-best season, averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and six assists per game. The Knicks finished with an impressive 41-31 record and made the playoffs for the first time since 2013 in 2020/21.
  • New Knicks guard Kemba Walker is set to return to New York after spending the last decade away from the state, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. Walker signed with the Knicks after reaching a buyout agreement with the Thunder, joining a backcourt that already includes Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley and others. As Bondy notes, the Bronx native will now have the chance to show what he’s learned on the road over the past 10 years.
  • Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer examines what various Sixers players have learned during summer league this month, specifically those entering their second seasons. Among those players is Paul Reed, who finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes of work on Saturday.

Sixers Notes: Simmons, Reed, Howard, Harris

Sixers guard Ben Simmons missed his fourth straight game today with flu-like symptoms, but he’s showing signs of recovery, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Coach Doc Rivers provided an update this afternoon, though he’s not sure when Simmons might be healthy enough to start playing again.

“I talked to Ben (Friday) and this morning,” Rivers said. “All I ask is how he’s feeling. I didn’t ask like, ‘Hey, how are you feeling? You know, when are you coming back?’ I don’t typically do that. I’ve always learned they’ll tell us, the trainers will tell us. And then the players will tell us.”

Rivers added that Simmons’ illness isn’t related to COVID-19, and blood work has indicated that he’s suffering from the flu.

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • Rookie power forward Paul Reed missed today’s game after being placed in the league’s health and safety protocols, Pompey adds. Rivers declined to provide any more details, but said he’s not concerned that other players might be at risk of catching the virus. “If it was (contagious), then the team would be in protocol,” he said. “So the NBA always does the contact tracing and all that stuff, and we’re good there.”
  • Dwight Howard picked up his 15th technical foul of the season today, meaning one more will result in an automatic one-game suspension. Rivers questioned the technical, saying Howard was singled out because of his history with officials, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic. “I thought Dwight’s tech was pure reputation,” Rivers told reporters. “… There is not another player on the floor, in my opinion, that would have gotten a tech for the same thing Dwight did. Not one player would have gotten that tech.”
  • Tobias Harris has registered the second-highest jump in efficiency in the NBA this season, and Louis Zatzman of FiveThirtyEight contends that the roster changes the Sixers made helped Harris refine his game.

Atlantic Notes: Quickley, Bembry, Johnson, Reed

Immanuel Quickley had an impressive start to his rookie season with the Knicks. The 6’3″ guard, who was the 25th overall pick out of Kentucky, scored at least 19 points in 11 of his first 36 NBA games. However, over the last few weeks, Quickley has hit a wall and fallen into a shooting slump. The Knicks have also dropped four of their previous five games. 

With Quickley struggling, Marc Berman of the New York Post wonders whether the rookie has a future as a starting NBA point guard or if he’ll end up as a bench scorer. Berman elicits opinions from multiple scouts in his look at Quickley’s future role.

“He played above his pay grade the first few months,’” said former Sixers scout Michael VandeGarde, who now runs a scouting service. “He’s coming back down to earth. It happens a lot with kids for short periods when they play so well early. Only time will tell what he really is.’”

More from the Atlantic Division: 

  • Veteran guard DeAndre’ Bembry signed a two-year deal with the Raptors before the season, and while the signing went under the radar, he has been vital to his new team. As Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes, Bembry is capable of guarding at least three positions on defense and has shown enough on offense to earn himself regular playing time.
  • Celtics big man Tristan Thompson appears ready to make his return after a lengthy absence due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, tweets Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Thompson last played on March 14.
  • While he doesn’t receive as much attention as his star teammates, Alize Johnson who’s currently on his second 10-day contract in Brooklyn, is providing the Nets with strong production. “There are some nights where it might not look like he’s showing up on the stat sheet, but he does all the little stuff all the time. And then when we need him to come up for us offensively, he typically does,” Nets guard Joe Harris said of Johnson, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post.
  • Rich Hofmann of The Athletic profiled Sixers rookie Paul Reed, taking a look at the NBA G League MVP known as “Bball Paul.” While Reed may not see a ton of playing time the rest of the way, he’s “now very much part of the Sixers’ team fabric,” Hofmann writes.