One player who has captured the hearts of Philadelphia 76ers fans during his time with the team has been Paul Reed. The third-year big man has been known as one of the hardest-working players on the team and succeeded with every opportunity he has received. Despite playing key minutes for the Sixers in last year’s playoffs, Reed has seen his time on the court cut back this season following the additions of P.J. Tucker and Montrezl Harrell. Despite the need for his defensive impact and overall skillset, Reed has played just 27 total minutes so far this season. The 23-year-old has refused to let it bring him down and recently shared some motivation on Twitter to show where his mindset is.
Reed’s Battle For Minutes
There has been a major hesitancy to play Reed throughout his three-year tenure with the Sixers. Doc Rivers’ tendency to lean on veterans has been prevalent during his time as Head Coach with players like Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, and DeAndre Jordan each leaping Reed on the depth chart. The former 58th overall pick is far from a finished product but possesses energy and a defensive impact that is beneficial.
This was put on display during the Sixers’ recent loss to the Wizards in which the Sixers allowed 68 points in the paint. The inability of Tucker and Harrell to match up with Kristaps Porzingis’ 7’3″ frame was evident and he tallied 30 points by comfortably scoring over them. Reed saw just six minutes in the matchup but tallied more points, rebounds, and assists than Harrell despite seeing half the amount of time on the court.
This has been a frustrating storyline for both Sixers fans and Reed himself. To the 23-year-old’s credit, he has not been deterred in his efforts thus far. Last season he did not crack the rotation consistently during the regular season but proved the best option in the playoffs. Based on the defensive deficiencies of Harrell and the limited size of Tucker, the Sixers could be heading down the same path this year.
Reed’s Path to the Sixers
Throughout his three seasons in the NBA, Reed has tallied just 506 total minutes. For reference, Tyrese Maxey has played 340 minutes already this season. Most of his development has occurred with the Delaware Blue Coats. In his first season in the G League, Reed won MVP and Rookie of the Year with the Blue Coats.
Despite the negative perception that it may carry that it has not translated to the NBA level, Reed continues to keep his head up. He was recently asked about his time at the G League and reflected positively on its impact on him. Matt Murphy, who works as the play-by-play announced for the Blue Coats as well as serving a role within Sixers media, shared the stat that 234 total players and about 47% of the NBA have spent time in the G League. This also includes 10 players on the current Sixers roster.
When asked about his thoughts on what this means, Reed stated- “That just means the G League is really producing athletes – basketball players – that’s like that. If you’re going down to the G League, you should look at it as a great opportunity to get better because you’re going to be playing against guys that are really in the NBA,” per Matt Murphy.
The career story of Reed still holds many chapters that are still to be written. The scrappy defensive big man has made his impact felt every step of the way and hopefully can soon build off this with the Sixers. The defensive effort has been a notable point of weakness early on for the Sixers and Reed could go a long way toward changing this.