The Philadelphia 76ers are gearing up for a deep playoff run with the addition of James Harden to the starting lineup, but there are still some issues that need to be addressed.
In the trade to acquire Harden, the Sixers shipped out Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond and Seth Curry, which means they lost some key rotation players. Drummond played the vital role of backup to Joel Embiid, and he’s since been replaced by new signing DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan has bounced around the league over the past several years, and it’s abundantly clear that his high-flying style from the Lob City days with the Los Angeles Clippers are behind him.
Some fans have taken such a quick disliking to him that they are calling for the Sixers to give backup and little-played big man Paul Reed minutes over him. Concerns about playing time were sparked by a tweet from Reed where he talked about how simply being good wasn’t good enough.
“I gotta be great, being good ain’t good enough for me,” he said.
On the season, Reed has appeared in just 29 games and his playing time is very sporadic. While he was a late second round pick, he did come home with G-League MVP honors and was named Rookie of the Year there as well, so it’s clear he has some talent.
At this stage in Jordan’s career, some fans are wondering what it’ll take for Reed to get his minutes.
Fans Call For a Change
Jordan as he stands right now has bounced around teams for a reason, and it’s because his skills have diminished in a big way.
He can still be effective in spurts, but his track record of fizzling out with teams isn’t something that can be ignored. He found a home with the Sixers because he felt like he’d be able to get more playing time with his former coach than he would’ve had with the Lakers, and that much seems true.
Embiid still handles the lion’s share of minutes at center, so Jordan doesn’t have to do much in any given game, but his stretches haven’t been pretty.
In five games played with the Sixers, he has posted a minus 11 overall in the plus/minus category. Obviously, that’s not an ideal statline and it’s why some fans are calling for Reed to get minutes.
Reed already sees inconsistent minutes, and it’s hard to imagine him getting any real playing time once the playoffs come around, so it might be too late for him to get started now.
Fans Fear He Could Blow Up
While this could be an unfounded fear, some fans are worried Reed could land on another team and find success there, similar to Christian Wood.
Wood bounced around the league a bit before he found playing time with the Pistons. He shined in Detroit and secured a big contract with the Rockets, effectively earning his way into consistent NBA minutes.
This could happen to Reed as well, but he’ll need to find out how to get on the court and prove himself. Getting minutes over the declining DeAndre Jordan will be his first major obstacle.
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