Trey Murphy

Pelicans Notes: Murphy, Alvarado, Valanciunas, Draft, Arena

A rookie scale extension for Trey Murphy will be one of the Pelicans‘ offseason priorities, but it will take a significant offer to make it happen, according to Christian Clark of Clark sees a new contract for Murphy falling somewhere between the four-year, $94.5MM deal that Brooklyn gave Cameron Johnson last summer and the five-year pact Devin Vassell signed with San Antonio that includes $135MM in guaranteed money.

Murphy came off the bench in 34 of the 57 games he played this season, but Clark points to an April matchup with Golden State as evidence that he can handle a full-time starting role. With Brandon Ingram sidelined by an injury, Murphy scored 24 points and sank six three-pointers, three of which were from 30 feet or longer.

New Orleans reportedly plans to explore trades involving Ingram this summer, creating an opportunity for Murphy to replace him in the starting lineup. Clark views Murphy as a better fit alongside Zion Williamson and Herbert Jones, adding that all three will be under long-term deals if Murphy signs an extension.

There’s more from New Orleans:

  • The Pelicans are very likely to pick up their $1.99MM team option on Jose Alvarado, Keith Smith of Spotrac states in an offseason overview of the team. Option decisions on Jeremiah Robinson-Earl ($2.2MM) and Matt Ryan ($2.4MM) are less certain, but Smith expects New Orleans to keep both players unless the front office decides it needs to open a roster spot. The more difficult choices, according to Smith, are what to do with center Jonas Valanciunas and small forward Naji Marshall, who will both be unrestricted free agents if they don’t agree to extensions by late June. Smith expects a one- or two-year deal for Valanciunas if he’s brought back, while Marshall seems likely to wind up elsewhere.
  • The Pelicans need to find a big man in the draft, and there should be plenty of decent options when they pick at No. 21, Smith adds, listing Zach Edey, Yves Missi, DaRon Holmes II and Kel’el Ware as players who could still be on the board. Smith expects New Orleans to defer the first-round pick that it’s owed from the Lakers, which is at No. 17, and take L.A.’s first-rounder next year instead.
  • The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District voted to delay planned improvements to Smoothie King Center because Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, who also owns the NFL’s Saints, is delinquent on payments for upgrades to the Superdome, Clark and Jeff Duncan write in a separate story. ASM Global, which manages the Superdome, contends the Saints are $11.5MM behind and haven’t made a payment since December. The NFL team issued a statement (via Twitter) saying it has no problem paying the $11.5MM — or its $41MM share of the $58MM project — but added, “We have, however, asked for certain documentation over an extended period and we have not received that documentation.” Last year, the Pelicans extended their lease at the arena through June of 2029.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Jones, Irving, Murphy

Thanks to the help of perhaps his most talented supporting cast thus far, Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic has made the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic.

The Mavericks rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half of a Game 6 clash at home, ultimately beating the Thunder by a single point, 117-116, to clench their second-round series.

The team’s cadre of talented new bigs, led by 25-year-old Daniel Gafford, 20-year-old rookie lottery pick Dereck Lively, and 25-year-old P.J. Washington, has had an outsized impact on its run this spring. Dallas also seems likely to be able to further grow in the coming years. Among the team’s rotation pieces, only 32-year-old Kyrie Irving and Maxi Kleber are older than 28.

All Dallas’ key rotation players are under contract long-term, with the exception of forward Derrick Jones Jr., who’s averaging 10.8 points (on .510/.375/.684 shooting), 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 assists per game across 12 postseason contests thus far — all starts. He scored a critical 22 points in Game 6 and helped the club close out the series with some clutch buckets in the second half.

Jones and his agent recently suggested to Cato that they’d like to work out a new deal with the Mavs above the veteran’s minimum this summer. Dallas will only hold the forward’s Non-Bird rights, limiting the team’s ability to offer a raise.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd supports the notion that Doncic has major confidence in this year’s supporting cast, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “He’s one of the best players in the world, but sometimes we lose sight that it’s not just built [around Doncic],” Kidd said. “One guy can’t get you there. You need a team. Right now, he’s got a team that he believes in.”
  • The collaboration and connection between the Mavericks’ star backcourt of Doncic and Irving has improved both players’ games, a fact of which they’re keenly aware, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). “He helped me mature a lot and realize how to see the game in a different way,” Doncic said. “On the court, it’s amazing to play with a guy like him. I go out there and enjoy.” For his part, the well-traveled Irving says he has enjoyed watching Doncic blossom: “I think this guy next to me has pushed me to continue to work on my game and continue to develop as a young leader. I think the big word that we both can agree on is maturity. Coming into Dallas, I was dealing with a lot mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. They embraced me with open arms.”
  • Pelicans swingman Trey Murphy impressed with some extended run this season. Still on his rookie scale contract for now, he’ll be eligible for a contract extension when the 2024/25 league year officially begins on July 1. Christian Clark of speculates about what Murphy’s next deal could look like. “Obviously, we are going to try to do what’s best for me and the Pelicans,” Murphy said. “I hope we can get something done. At the end of the day, it’s not about money. I just want to play basketball. Hopefully, we can get something done.”

Pelicans Rumors: Zion, Ingram, Hawkins, Murphy, More

After being swept in the first round of the playoffs, head of basketball operations David Griffin said at the end of last month that the Pelicans are going to actively look to improve this summer. Those comments drew plenty of attention from rival executives, Michael Scotto told William Guillory of The Athletic on the latest HoopsHype podcast.

Scotto hears New Orleans plans to build around Zion Williamson and the Pelicans will be looking for “positional upgrades to improve their spacing” around the former No. 1 overall pick. Guillory confirms the team was pleased with Williamson’s progress — both on and off the court — particularly in the second half of the season.

Rival front offices view Brandon Ingram as the “most likely” Pelican to be dealt this offseason, per Scotto. As Scotto notes, Ingram is entering the final year of his contract, which will pay him $36MM in 2024/25.

According to Guillory, if Ingram were to hit unrestricted free agency in 2025, he would likely receive a max or near-max deal, which is what his camp would almost certainly be seeking in a potential extension. Still, trading Ingram after he was hampered by a knee injury and struggled mightily in the postseason isn’t ideal from a value perspective, so it’s challenging to come up with deals that make sense for New Orleans, Guillory observes.

Here’s more on the Pelicans from Scotto and Guillory:

  • Aside from finances, one of the reasons the Pelicans may be open to moving Ingram is they want to get more playing time for a pair of high-volume floor spacers in Jordan Hawkins and Trey Murphy, according to Scotto. Hawkins struggled to crack the rotation in the second half of his rookie campaign due to the team’s backcourt depth and his defensive shortcomings, Guillory notes, but the team remains high on his upside.
  • As for Murphy, he’ll be eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, and Scotto believes the North Carolina native will be seeking a deal for at least $25MM annually, pointing to the contracts Devin Vassell and Jaden McDaniels signed last offseason as “starting points.” Guillory thinks the team would prefer to extend Murphy before next season begins rather than waiting until restricted free agency in 2025.
  • Scotto expressed skepticism that CJ McCollum will be traded due to his leadership and professionalism, and Guillory has heard similarly, stating that the 32-year-old guard likely has more value to the Pelicans than rival teams. McCollum also set a franchise record for three-pointers made in ’23/24, Guillory notes, so he’s certainly capable of spacing the floor.
  • There’s an expectation that Jonas Valanciunas will likely sign with a new team in free agency, per Scotto. Guillory says he’d be “pretty surprised” if the Lithuanian center returned to New Orleans after he was benched at times down the stretch of the season. While he wasn’t an ideal fit with Williamson, Valanciunas should have some value on the open market, Guillory adds, since he remains productive and has been quite durable throughout his career.
  • Another free agent who could be on the move is Naji Marshall, with Guillory stating the team is “pretty much sold that he’s leaving” due to financial reasons. The 26-year-old wing shot a career-best 38.7% from three, is a solid defender, and is one of the few Pelicans who played well in the postseason, so he’ll be a name to watch in free agency, Guillory notes.
  • While the Pelicans could decline their team option on Jose Alvarado to make him a restricted free agent, Guillory doesn’t think that will happen. Alvarado is “very motivated” to stay with New Orleans, but Guillory suggests the team will likely wait a year before deciding what to do with him.
  • The Pelicans could also make some minor changes to their coaching staff, Scotto reports.

Pelicans Notes: Offseason, Ingram, Center, Point Guard

Entering the final day of the regular season earlier this month, the Pelicans just needed a victory to secure the No. 6 seed in the West. However, they lost that game, lost their first play-in game, and lost star forward Zion Williamson in that contest to a hamstring injury that turned out to be a season-ender. New Orleans ultimately claimed the No. 8 seed in the West, but was quickly dispatched by the Thunder in a four-game sweep.

Speaking on Tuesday to reporters (Twitter video link), head of basketball operations David Griffin said there were “so many positives” to take away from the season, pointing to the Pelicans’ league-best 28-14 road record and their sixth-best net rating (+4.6). But while he acknowledged that the team was once again bitten by the injury bug at an inopportune time, he said the front office can’t just bring back the same group and hope for better health luck next season.

“In the past, we’ve always erred on the side of continuity, and our takeaway has always been, ‘Let’s see this group healthy.’ I think we’ve seen it enough,” Griffin said. “I think we had a really, really good opportunity to see Zion play a career high in games. I think we saw it for segments of time well enough to understand that we’ve got a lot of work to do. Because it is a historically good Western Conference, there are teams that didn’t make the playoffs that are going to get radically better this offseason. We need to do the same. I think you’ll see a real sense of urgency from all of us to do that.

“… I want to be really, really clear,” Griffin added (Twitter video link). “This is not going to be a summer of complacency. It’s time to get better.”

The Pelicans aren’t quite as loaded with draft assets as they once were, but they’re still in good position to make a deal heavy on picks. They control all their own future first-round selections, an unprotected Lakers first-rounder (they can take this year’s No. 17 pick or defer it to 2025), an unprotected Bucks first-rounder (2027), and swap rights with Milwaukee in 2026.

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • The Pelicans will face a significant decision this offseason on Brandon Ingram, as the star forward prepares to enter the final year of his maximum-salary contract following an ugly series vs. the Thunder (14.3 PPG on .345/.250/.895 shooting). As Christian Clark of writes, if they don’t want to enter next season with Ingram on an expiring deal, the Pels will have to determine this summer whether to trade or extend him. “That’s not in the front of my mind right now,” Ingram said after Monday’s Game 4 loss. “This is a place where I got my first All-Star (appearance). Where they let me be myself. I have good relationships with everyone. But you never know. I will take a few weeks off and think about what’s best for me, what’s best for my family. Then take it from there.”
  • While sorting out Ingram’s future will likely be their top priority, the Pelicans have plenty of important items on their summer to-do list, according to offseason previews from ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) and Mark Deeks of HoopsHype. Trey Murphy will be eligible for a rookie scale extension, Naji Marshall will be an unrestricted free agent, and New Orleans would presumably like to find a center who can reliably close games after having to bench both Jonas Valanciunas and Larry Nance in certain matchups. Valanciunas will also be a free agent this offseason.
  • Adding a traditional point guard to their roster may be another item on the Pelicans’ offseason to-do list. Asked today about that possibility, Ingram acknowledged, “It would definitely be helpful” (Twitter link via Clark). CJ McCollum has been New Orleans’ primary point guard since being acquired from Portland, but it’s not his original position.

Southwest Notes: Sengun, Landale, Murphy, Jones

Rockets center Alperen Sengun will undergo an MRI on both his right knee and ankle on Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The breakout star big man was taken off the court in a wheelchair with 39.1 seconds remaining the Rockets’ 112-104 victory over Kings Sunday night, according to ESPN News Services. Sengun landed awkwardly after contesting a shot in transition by Domantas Sabonis. He immediately grabbed his right knee in agony and put his hands over his face as he was wheeled off the court.

Sengun is averaging 21.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his third season with the Rockets and is a prime candidate for the Most Improved Player award. He’s eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Even before Sengun’s injury, Jock Landale‘s role as a Rockets reserve had expanded, Jonahan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Landale has played anywhere from six to 17 minutes over the past six games, including a 9-point, 5-rebound, 4-assist outing against the Kings on Sunday. “He always stayed ready,” coach Ime Udoka said. “I think guys across the board on our team have been great as far as that this year. A big part of it is numbers more than anything. We’ve had a lot of guys play well, and they can’t all play. But they stay ready.” Landale has three years remaining on his contract, but they’re all non-guaranteed.
  • Trey Murphy continued his scoring binge against Atlanta on Sunday, firing in 28 points. The Pelicans wing has scored 20 or more points in five of the last six games. Murphy is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason. “I knew he (Murphy) was going to figure it out at some point,” coach Willie Green told Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.“From time to time, I may talk to him. But him and (coach) Corey Brewer have done a great job of refocusing and going out and doing the little things. That’s what it takes sometimes when your shot isn’t falling. Concentrating on winning plays, winning habits. There is a lot you can do to contribute to winning without scoring.”
  • Herbert Jones is a candidate one of the league’s top young defenders but the Pelicans forward won’t campaign for All-Defensive honors, he told Clark. “I have been like this all my life,” Jones said. “I have never really wanted the spotlight on me. Especially because it’s a team game. I don’t do anything alone. I really don’t care to get the credit. As long as the team wins, I’m great.”

Southwest Notes: Jones, Pelicans, Thompson, Whitmore, Wemby

Despite an impending salary crunch, the Pelicans are not open to trading defensive ace Herbert Jones, Marc Stein reports in his latest notebook. Jones signed a four-year extension during the offseason.

By dealing Kira Lewis Jr. as part of the three-team trade featuring Pascal Siakam, New Orleans moved under the luxury tax. However, the Pelicans still face long-term financial challenges with Trey Murphy III eligible for a rookie scale contract extension this summer and generally trying to retain all the key pieces on arguably the league’s deepest roster.

The Pelicans are one of two NBA franchises to never pay the luxury tax.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans’ starting unit has not fared well in the second half of games and coach Willie Green is open to making changes, according to Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times Picayune. “We have enough data to know that it’s an issue, and we are working on it,” Green said. “Right now, we want to give them a chance to correct it. But we’re at the point where anything is on the table.”
  • With Fred VanVleet, Jeff Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason sitting out on Sunday, the Rockets started rookie first-rounders Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore. In the last few weeks, both have earned more playing time due to their attention to detail and physical traits, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes. They got a defensive education trying to guard Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis. “They did pretty well,” forward Dillon Brooks said. “Most of the time, they were on Porziņgis because (Boston) was trying to get the switch, but they played them well and physical enough. They should take that and bring it to every game.”
  • The first half of the Spurs’ season is over and The Athletic’s Mike Monroe takes a closer look at how Victor Wembanyama fared up to the midway point, noting that the rookie big man has produced despite being on a minutes restriction. Wembanyama has not played more than 27 minutes in his last 12 appearances after suffering minor ankle sprains, but has averaged 21.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game during that stretch.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Luka, Cuban, Rockets, Lopez, Murphy, Smart

The Mavericks are starting to get a better idea of what their optimal lineup might look like, but they haven’t gotten a chance to take a longer look at it due to ongoing injury issues, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic.

As Cato details, the Mavericks like the idea of leaning more on lineups that feature Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Dante Exum, and Dereck Lively. So far this season, Dallas has an eye-popping offensive rating of 145.5 to go along with a defensive rating of 97.0 when that quartet is on the court. However, the sample size is relatively tiny — the four players have shared the floor for just 31 total minutes across four games.

All four players have dealt with moderate or minor injuries at some point this season, which has limiteed the Mavs’ ability to play them more together. Irving has been active for the past three games after missing 12 consecutive contests due to a heel contusion, but Doncic (right ankle swelling), Exum (right heel contusion), and Lively (left ankle sprain) were all unavailable for Friday’s win over Portland.

The Mavs are hopeful that Doncic’s ankle ailment is just a day-to-day issue, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. In the team’s initial injury report for Sunday’s matchup with Minnesota, Doncic is listed as questionable, but Lively is doubtful and Exum has already been ruled out.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Longtime Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who recently sold his majority stake in the franchise, informed team employees this week that he’ll paying them bonuses that total approximately $35MM, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN relays (via Twitter).
  • Confirming offseason reports, Bucks center Brook Lopez said on Saturday that he seriously considered the possibility of signing with the Rockets as a free agent this past summer, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required). “It was pretty close,” Lopez said. “There was a lot of mutual interest. Watching this season, they’ve obviously done some great things. I love what (head coach) Ime (Udoka) has been doing. Obviously, the group of guys they have here have done great stuff.”
  • After returning on Friday from a three-game absence due to left knee tendonitis, Pelicans sharpshooter Trey Murphy said his knee feels OK. However, he’ll be on a restriction of 20-to-25 minutes per game for now as the team manages some inflammation he has recently experienced in that knee, tweets Will Guillory of The Athletic. Murphy made just 1-of-9 shots in 17 minutes off the bench on Friday.
  • In a conversation with Marc J. Spears of Andscape, Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart spoke about his reaction to being traded last summer and how he’s adjusted to his new NBA home, as well as what it’s been like mentoring Ja Morant and his young teammates in Memphis.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Pelicans, Murphy, Eason, Rockets

The Mavericks had a couple of frontcourt rotation players go down with ankle injuries in Wednesday’s blowout victory over Portland, as Dereck Lively sprained his left ankle in the third quarter and Grant Williams sprained his right in the fourth, writes Shawn McFarland of The Dallas Morning News. Neither player returned to the game.

However, head coach Jason Kidd said after the game that the two sprains were “mild,” tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, and on Thursday, both players were listed as questionable for Friday’s rematch with Portland (Twitter link via Mavs play-by-play announcer Mark Followill). Dante Exum (right heel contusion) and Richaun Holmes (personal reasons) are doubtful.

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Instead of folding after being blown out by the Lakers during the in-season tournament, the Pelicans have played their best basketball of the season over the past few weeks, going 9-3, including seven double-digit wins, per William Guillory of The Athletic. As Guillory writes, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson playing selflessly and “doing the little things” has contributed to the team’s success, as has CJ McCollum adapting to a more spot-up role while being a locker room leader.
  • Pelicans guard/forward Trey Murphy is still considered day-to-day after missing the past three games with left knee soreness, head coach Willie Green said on Thursday (Twitter link via Christian Clark of Murphy is questionable for Friday’s matchup with the Clippers, Clark tweets. It’s worth noting that the third-year wing had left knee surgery to repair his meniscus in September.
  • Second-year Rockets forward Tari Eason has drawn praise from head coach Ime Udoka and has been very impactful when he’s able to suit up lately, but the stress reaction he suffered in his left leg during preseason continues to be an issue, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscriber link), who notes that rookies Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore have gotten more playing time when Eason is out. “It’s day-to-day at this point,” Udoka said of Eason. “He might have reaggravated here and there. It acts up a little bit. So continue to monitor it, but it’s something we’re going to deal with for a while. He’s been getting looked at, checked out, a ton of treatment, rehab. Rest is good for it, has been. On those games he’s played back-to-back, had to limit his minutes. The games we had days off in between, we were capping him at 25. We’d obviously like to play him more when he’s playing really well.”

Southwest Notes: Morant, Smart, Kennard, Wembanyama, Murphy

After watching his team post a miserable 6-19 record while he was serving a 25-game suspension, Ja Morant has the Grizzlies looking like winners again, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Morant had 30 points, six rebounds and 11 assists in Saturday’s victory at Atlanta as Memphis improved to 3-0 since his return. The secret to the success, according to Morant, is that the players are enjoying themselves again.

“The tough part was not being able to be out there and enjoy and have fun with my guys, but now that I’m out there, I’m making sure that we’re all having fun no matter what,” Morant said after Thursday’s game. “So that was pretty much just my message. You could just tell by the energy of the team. We catch a lob, you got the bench going crazy, you got the players screaming, yelling, dapping each other up. That’s our type of basketball. That’s how we are. That’s the team we are, the people we are.”

Memphis fans are enjoying having Morant back as well, MacMahon adds. They took part in a parade outside the arena to celebrate his first home game, which marked just the fourth sellout of the season at FedEx Forum.

“You got to play the game with a lot of joy,” Desmond Bane said. “And when you’re losing and down, sometimes it’s hard to find that spirit and that swag. But regardless, winning, losing, up, down, you got to have that fire and that fight. And I think we got that now.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins indicated that Marcus Smart may be ready to return on Tuesday, tweets Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal. Smart has been sidelined since November 14 with a left foot sprain and has only appeared in 11 games this season. Jenkins hopes Luke Kennard can begin playing five-on-five next week and can be back in the rotation by the end of December, per Rob Fischer of Grind City Media (Twitter link).
  • A pregame mishap prevented Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama from playing tonight at Dallas, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Wembanyama suffered a right ankle sprain when he stepped on a ball boy’s foot during warmups. He went to the locker room to get his ankle retaped, but coach Gregg Popovich opted to hold him out of the game for precautionary reasons.
  • Trey Murphy has become a valuable part of the Pelicans‘ offense since returning from left knee surgery that forced him to miss the first 19 games of the season, notes Christian Clark of NOLA. Murphy made his first start Thursday and delivered 28 points in a win at Cleveland. “I feel great,” he said. “I’m getting back into my rhythm. I’m getting back into the flow of things. It’s just in time for the dog days of the season. I have fresh legs for those times.”

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Melton, Reed

If the Raptors want to remain competitive, they need to play Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby more minutes, argues Michael Grange of

Grange points out that Barnes’ year-over-year minutes are virtually unchanged despite the noticeable improvements he’s made in his third season, while Siakam — who led the league in minutes per game each of the past two seasons — and Anunoby are both playing fewer minutes in 2023/24. That three-man group has a plus-1.3 net rating, compared to the team’s overall minus-1.5 mark.

New head coach Darko Rajakovic has been reluctant to extend his top players beyond the 38-minute mark, however.

One thing that we cannot overlook is… we have (had) a pretty healthy roster this season,” said Rajakovic. “That’s a testament to our medical staff but also us working together to try to manage those minutes. I always look at the long-term benefits for the player, for the team, for the organization and for everybody. I think that every single night running guys to 38, 40 minutes, it’s really, really hard. But on certain nights if that happens, it happens.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Blake Murphy of considers potential trade targets for the Raptors, focusing on solid young player who have a chance to become stars. Pelicans wing Trey Murphy, Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley and Hawks forward Jalen Johnson are three of the five players Murphy mentions.
  • Sixers guard De’Anthony Melton sustained a left thigh contusion in the first half of Wednesday’s contest against Minnesota and was ruled out for the remainder of the game, the team announced (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of PHLY Sports). Melton, who has started every game for the 76ers while averaging 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals, will be a free agent in 2024.
  • With Nicolas Batum (hamstring) and Robert Covington (illness) both out for Wednesday’s game, Sixers backup center Paul Reed said he was ready to play in the frontcourt alongside Joel Embiid if necessary, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The two big men shared the together for 62 seconds in Monday’s loss to Chicago, Pompey notes. “I’ve got to make sure I’m ready to be out there again with [Embiid], if need be,” Reed said. “… I wish we were able to spend more time out there [Monday], so we can have a better rhythm.”