Daryl Morey Has High Hopes for Sixers Fan Favorite

Philadelphia 76ers, Paul Reed

Getty Paul Reed #44 of the Philadelphia 76ers blocks a shot by Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors.

Heading into the start of free agency, the Philadelphia 76ers will once again be in the market for a backup center. There has been a revolving door of veteran bigs behind Joel Embiid, and another could enter the mix this offseason.

While Daryl Morey is sure to closely monitor the center market, he has not ruled out the idea of players already on the roster becoming Embiid’s backup. During his media availability following the NBA Draft, he mentioned Paul Reed as someone who could get more opportunities in 2023.

I know coach Rivers is very excited about what Paul Reed gave us down the stretch… Paul can hopefully build on what he did at the end of last year. We’re going to be opportunistic with a bigger spend in free agency. There will be opportunistic look at minimal spends. But I think the bar will be high on like a minimal spend on the backup center spot because we feel like we got some guys who can contribute.

The former G-League MVP didn’t see much time in the regular season, but that all changed once the playoffs rolled around. Facing off against a physical and athletic Raptors team, Doc Rivers gave Reed a shot at being Embiid’s backup. He appeared in 12 postseason games and averaged 3.7 PPG and 3.8 RPG while shooting 52.8% from the field.

Based on these comments, it looks like Reed might have a chance to compete for a full-time rotation spot once training camp rolls around.

Charles Bassey Getting an Opportunity

Another young prospect who didn’t get much time at the NBA level is Charles Bassey. After being taken with the 53rd pick in 2021, the 21-year-old spent most of the year with the Delaware Blue Coats.

Bassey appeared in 17 G-League games and posted averages of 18.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 3.4 BPG. The Sixers must have liked what they saw this past season because Morey also brought him up when discussing the hole at backup center.

Generally guys don’t really contribute much in their first year, but [Charles] Bassey was a G-League champion… I think the hope is, it’s a long shot with a great winning team like ours, but the hope is that Bassey can contribute at some point this year.

Given their varying skill sets, the pair of young bigs could be Embiid’s backup by committee. Bassey can provide size and rebounding around the rim, while Reed can man the frontcourt when Rivers wants to roll out super-charged small-ball lineups.

Morey Feels Isaiah Joe Can Take The Next Step Forward

With Danny Green getting shipped to Memphis on draft night for De’Anthony Melton, minutes have opened up at the wing position. Adding wing depth should be a top priority for the Sixers in free agency, but they still have some options already in-house. Knowing this, Morey feels Isaiah Joe is someone who could take a step forward this upcoming season.

I think, again, he’s got a chance to take a big step forward,” said Morey. “He’s gonna play with our summer teams. I think show what he can do. We were a deep team so he didn’t get a ton of (time). When we had COVID stuff, he was out too. He didn’t get much of a chance as I was hoping he would just given how all of the injuries timed last year so I think he’s got a real chance to show us what he can do as well.

Joe played in 55 games for the Sixers this year and averaged 3.6 PPG while shooting 33.3% from beyond the arc.

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