Paul Reed

Sixers Notes: Simmons, Horford, Milton, Broekhoff

Ben Simmons had missed the Sixers‘ last eight games due to a back injury and was projected to be sidelined indefinitely when the NBA suspended its season in March. However, the four-month layoff has paid off the former No. 1 pick, who confirmed this week that he’s fully healthy and ready to participate in the NBA’s restart, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes.

“I’m feeling better than I was when I started the season,” Simmons told reporters on Thursday. “But I’ve been working since I had the injury, working ’til now to prepare for whatever happens, wherever we go. So I’m feeling great, I’ve been rehabbing this whole time, so I’m feeling ready. And I’m feeling very comfortable.”

Some players, especially those with a history of injuries, have been apprehensive about participating in the NBA’s restart, given the brief ramp-up period to the eight seeding games and the playoffs. However, Simmons didn’t express any reservations about the league’s plan.

“Wherever my team is, I feel like it’s my responsibility to go down there and represent Philadelphia in the highest way possible, and I think this is the right way to do it,” Simmons said, per Bontemps. “If we’re safe down there, and I trust in what the NBA is doing, and they’re taking extreme precautions with this. So I feel like if we’re all going, I’m in. I’m with my teammates and I never would want them to go down and not expect to see me there. So I’m all-in with my team.”

Here’s more on the 76ers:

  • Head coach Brett Brown acknowledged on Wednesday that the offensive fit of his starting lineup – especially when Al Horford has been part of that group – has been “clunky.” However, as Paul Hudrick of NBC Sports Philadelphia details, Brown believes the group is “built for the playoffs” and will weigh potential roles for Horford and Shake Milton during the training camp period. “In a perfect world, you’d like to go into those eight (seeding) games and have some minor tweak and rotation changes as opposed to Game 5 and, ‘Oh, crap, we’ve got something that’s a little bit funky here,'” Brown said.
  • In a separate story for NBC Sports Philadelphia, Hudrick profiles DePaul forward Paul Reed, suggesting that he’s the sort of versatile prospect the Sixers should target with one of their second-round picks.
  • Ryan Broekhoff‘s wife has an auto-immune disease and the couple has a one-year-old son, but the veteran sharpshooter ultimately decided to join the Sixers for the NBA’s restart, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We spoke to (76ers GM) Elton (Brand) and spoke to (Brown) and just wanted to get some more information of how the bubble would be down in Orlando, and if anything happens at home, what are my options to get back and take care of my family,” Broekhoff said. “… I think the opportunity in the end was too hard to pass up.”

Draft Notes: Jones, Stanley, Oturu, Reed, Nnaji, Combine

A pair of early entrants out of Duke have signed with agents who aren’t NCAA-certified, officially signaling that they’ll go pro and remain in the 2020 NBA draft. Tre Jones has signed with BDA Sports, according to the agency’s Instagram account, while Cassius Stanley has joined ISE Basketball (Twitter link).

Both Blue Devils prospects had been expected to keep their names in the draft, so their moves to secure representation don’t come as a surprise. Both players are ranked in the top 50 on ESPN’s big board for 2020, with Jones coming in at No. 33 and Stanley at No. 50.

Here’s more on the 2020 draft:

  • A couple more players on this year’s early entrants list have signed with agents and will remain in the draft. Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu has joined BDA Sports, per the agency (Instagram link). Meanwhile, DePaul’s Paul Reed has opted for Ron Shade of Octagon, tweets Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com. Oturu and Reed place 36th and 51st respectively on ESPN’s list of 2020’s top prospects.
  • Arizona forward Zeke Nnaji has had virtual meetings with the Pelicans, Wizards, and Hornets so far, and has one lined up with the Jazz later this week, says Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). A possible first-round pick, Nnaji is ranked 34th overall on ESPN’s big board.
  • The NBA has sent teams ballots to vote on prospects they’d like to see participate in the 2020 draft combine, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The combine, originally scheduled to take place next week, has been postponed indefinitely, but the league still hopes to hold it in some revamped form, either in-person or virtually.

Paul Reed Declaring For NBA Draft

DePaul junior forward Paul Reed will enter the NBA draft, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania refers to Reed as a “projected first-round pick,” but he appears at No. 51 on ESPN’s Big Board.

“After three great years of learning, improving and developing my game at DePaul, I am blessed to say that I will be declaring for the 2020 NBA draft,” Reed said. “I want to thank the coaching staff for giving me this opportunity and being great mentors and role models for me. … I’m excited for this next part of my basketball journey and am ready to get to work.”

Reed averaged 15.1 points per game this season and was a second team All-Big East selection. He ranked second in the conference in rebounding (10.7), blocks (2.6) and steals (1.9). Reed was named Most Improved Player in the Big East last season.