Paul Reed

Atlantic Notes: VanVleet, R. Williams, Harrell, Reed, Thybulle

Fred VanVleet‘s extension talks with the Raptors are on hold, but he indicated Sunday that he hopes to reach a long-term deal to stay in Toronto, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. VanVleet confirmed to reporters that he and the team had discussions about a four-year, $114MM extension before the start of the season, but they made a mutual decision to wait. A new deal can be reached any time up to June 30 if he turns down his player option for 2023/24.

“Without going too far into it … [I’m] just trying to put myself in a good position business-wise, and not take an extension on a deal that was made three or four years ago,” VanVleet said.“I felt like I’ve outplayed that contract thus far. So just trying to get myself in a position to put the cards in their hands. They got to make a decision from an organization standpoint. I love being here. I love being a Raptor. I got a great relationship with (team president) Masai (Ujiri) and (general manager) Bobby (Webster), so I’m confident that we could find (a deal). It’s a great partnership that we have, so going forward, I’m not going to make it easy on them and they’re not going to make it on me either, and that’s the way it’s going.”

VanVleet’s comments are contained in a story on why Toronto might be active ahead of the trade deadline following a disappointing 17-23 start. An Eastern Conference executive told Bontemps that the Raptors will have “plenty of interest” in their top players if they decide to make them available.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics center Robert Williams has only averaged 19.4 minutes in nine games since returning from knee surgery, but he’s making enough of an impact that coach Joe Mazzulla will have to consider making him a starter again, contends Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Williams is averaging 7.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in that limited time, and Boston has been more effective when he’s been on the court. “Whether he starts or comes off the bench, just want him on the floor, want him healthy,” Jayson Tatum said. “Want to be on the floor with him at the same time as much as possible. I’m going to start, so I’d like Rob to start. But whatever is best for the team, he’ll do that.”
  • With Joel Embiid still sidelined, Sixers backup centers Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed combined for 36 points Sunday as both made a strong case for more playing time, notes Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Neubeck believes Harrell is in a better position to get consistent minutes once Embiid returns, but says questions persist about his ability to protect the rim.
  • Matisse Thybulle went through two stretches where he wasn’t part of the Sixers‘ rotation this season, but he’s been showing his defensive value lately, observes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Thybulle had five steals Sunday against the Pistons, and Tyrese Maxey said, “At this point, I think they were just passing it to him.”

Sixers Notes: Harris, Reed, Milton, Embiid

After spending most of his career as an isolation scorer, Sixers forward Tobias Harris concentrated on improving his catch-and-shoot game over the summer to provide a complementary weapon to Joel Embiid and James Harden, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The results have been impressive, as Harris is thriving in the role and the Sixers have reeled off six straight wins. He scored 17 points in 21 minutes Wednesday, two days after sinking a game-winning three-pointer against the Raptors.

Harris is averaging 17.1 points per game this season, which is his lowest mark since being acquired in a trade nearly four years ago. But he’s shooting 42.2% from beyond the arc, which would be the best figure of his career.

“I know that if you threw me out there two years ago, I wouldn’t be able to do it and get going because that wasn’t the mentality for me, catching and shooting really fast,” Harris said. “At first it was tough, but now I kind of changed my mentality toward it and just said like, ‘OK, if that’s the case and situation, how do you be the best at it?’”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Montrezl Harrell has reclaimed the backup center role from Paul Reed, who has fallen out of the rotation over the past two weeks, Pompey states in a separate story. Reed, who saw just four minutes in Wednesday’s rout of the Pistons, acknowledges that he needs to play better. “You have to handle it like a professional,” he said. “I understand that I have areas that I need to improve on. I ain’t trippin’. I just know I have to get better so I’m putting in the work every day, and I know it’s going to pay off.”
  • Shake Milton‘s improvement gives the team four rotation-level guards and could lead to some interesting decisions when Tyrese Maxey returns from injury, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. Hofman expects coach Doc Rivers to use more three-guard lineups when the roster is healthy with some mixture of Maxey, Harden, Milton and De’Anthony Melton.
  • In an interview with Cassidy Hubbarth of ESPN, Embiid rejects the idea that he and Harden aren’t ideal complements to one another. “I don’t know where that’s coming from because last year when we got him, we just kept dominating teams,” Embiid said.

Sixers Notes: Tucker, Harden, Milton, Reed

P.J. Tucker only has three combined points in his last seven games, but he’s not concerned about a lack of offense, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers won five of those games, even with their three best players missing time, and Tucker seems comfortable with his current role.

“As long as we’re winning, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “Of course you want to get more shots. What player doesn’t? But with the way we play — Coach (Doc Rivers) talks about a lack of ball movement all the time — it’s one of those things. Sometimes you get shots, sometimes you don’t. You keep playing and figure it out.”

Philadelphia obviously didn’t sign Tucker over the summer because of his scoring. It was his defensive presence and other intangibles that convinced the team to give him a three-year, $33.2MM contract. Still, Pompey states that his lack of involvement in the offense can be concerning. Tucker spends many possessions spotting up in the corner, and he’s often out of rhythm when he does get a chance to shoot.

“Sometimes you get shots,” Tucker said. “Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the ball moves, sometimes it doesn’t. Without having (Joel Embiid), (the) ball’s got to pop. Ball’s got to move. Make easy shots for each other. It is what it is.”

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • James Harden, who has been out of action since November 2 with a strained tendon in his right foot, may be ready to return in a few days, Pompey adds. “It’s different with James because James kind of controls the game,” Tucker said. “He gets everybody the ball. Without James, it’s tough — that’s why the ball has to move even more.”
  • Shake Milton has made a strong case for rotation minutes once Harden and Tyrese Maxey are back on the court, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. Milton has averaged 22.8 points and 6.8 rebounds over the past four games, along with 7.8 assists and only 2.5 turnovers. He’s also shooting .589/.500/.938 during that span. Hofmann notes that Milton was playing well before the stars were injured and shouldn’t be considered the team’s 11th man anymore.
  • Paul Reed is learning to be more patient on offense and may be the choice for backup center minutes ahead of Montrezl Harrell once Embiid returns, Hofmann adds.

Sixers Guarantee Paul Reed’s Contract For 2022/23

Paul Reed has had his $1,782,621 salary for the 2022/23 season fully guaranteed by the Sixers, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

As Wojnarowski observes (via Twitter), Philadelphia technically didn’t have to make a decision on Reed’s deal until January, but the team opted to guarantee it a few months early. Reed will be a restricted free agent in 2023 if he’s extended a $2,228,276 qualifying offer.

The 23-year-old was the 58th overall pick of the 2020 draft after three college seasons with DePaul. He  has had a minor role at the NBA level to this point, averaging 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 7.5 minutes per contest in 64 games over the past two seasons.

However, Reed has been a star for the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers’ G League affiliate. He has averaged 22.3 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks on .582/.436/.725 shooting in 24 NBA GL games (31.6 minutes) since he was drafted two years ago.

The 6’9″ big man has served as the primary backup center to Joel Embiid during preseason over veteran Montrezl Harrell, though head coach Doc Rivers said on Wednesday that the two will split time behind Embiid, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps (Twitter link).

Reed was in a training camp battle with Isaiah Joe and Charles Bassey for the 14th spot on the 15-man standard roster. The Sixers ended up waiving both Joe and Bassey yesterday, and it appears as though they’ll keep the 15th spot open for now to maintain roster and financial flexibility.

Sixers Notes: Expectations, Joe, Bassey, Harris, Reed

In his preview of the coming season in Philadelphia, John Hollinger of The Athletic wonders whether the NBA world is sleeping on the Sixers after last season’s fourth-place finish and second-round exit.

As Hollinger outlines, signing P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, and Montrezl Harrell while trading for De’Anthony Melton – whom Hollinger refers to as one of the NBA’s most underrated players – helped shore up virtually all of the roster’s glaring holes, and the time might be right for the 76ers to break through in the Eastern Conference.

Hollinger is expecting big things from this year’s team, predicting that Philadelphia will finish the 2022/23 season with the second-best record in the East and will win the title, with Joel Embiid earning MVP honors.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • The Sixers are relieved not to have this year’s training camp dominated by questions about Ben Simmons‘ holdout, like last year’s was, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Head coach Doc Rivers told reporters that it’s “nice not having to deal with this stuff,” while Georges Niang suggested everyone on the roster is on the same page heading into this season. “We know who we have and you know who’s in your circle and you feel like you can build,” Niang said. “With all of us last year, it was kind of like we didn’t know who was going to get traded, who was going to come back. I think it’s good to just know who’s going to be here.”
  • Isaiah Joe, whose minimum-salary contract is non-guaranteed, isn’t a lock to make the Sixers’ regular season roster, but he says he’s not stressing about his future, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “My mindset through this is as long as I’m the best version of myself, I believe that I will be all right,” Joe said. “I believe that I will be all right, especially with the guys that we got.” Pompey suggests that the last spot on Philadelphia’s roster could come down to Joe, Trevelin Queen, and Charles Bassey, with Bassey perhaps the longest shot to make the team.
  • Originally cast as the Sixers’ third star, Tobias Harris now finds himself fourth in the pecking order behind Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey. In a separate story for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pompey explores how Harris will adjust to his new role.
  • The acquisition of Harrell seemed likely to make Paul Reed the third center on the 76ers’ depth chart, but he continues to serve as the primary backup center to Embiid so far in the preseason, Pompey writes for The Inquirer. Even Reed himself has been somewhat surprised by that decision. “I was a little shocked,” he said. “But at the same time, I still want to stay humble, you know? I don’t want to get too big-headed, you know? I want to keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing so I can keep earning more trust and keep getting more minutes.”

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.