Sixers rumors: Isaiah Joe has NBA Draft promise

Isaiah Joe | NBA Draft (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Isaiah Joe | NBA Draft (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers are rumored to have given Isaiah Joe a draft-night promise.

In remarkably predictable fashion, the Philadelphia 76ers are rumored to have offered Isaiah Joe a promise in the 2020 NBA Draft. According to Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman, it’s unclear whether that promise is at 21 or 34.

For a few days now, it has felt as if Joe and the Sixers had a wink-wink agreement of some kind. However, for it to be so plainly reported — even if it’s still technically a “rumor” — does reflect poorly on Sixers management.

Last summer, the Sixers’ intention to select Matisse Thybulle was so blatant that Boston forced their hand on a trade, and swindled an extra second-round pick from Philadelphia as a result. Joe isn’t the same prospect as Thybulle, but other teams clearly know the Sixers want him. Do not be surprised if Philadelphia’s hand is forced once more.

It’s a bit disappointing that the Sixers still can’t keep draft plans in-house, even with Daryl Morey now in charge. That said, it’s clear the front office’s affection for Joe was established well before Morey’s arrival, and the large majority of the decision-makers behind last season’s Thybulle mishap are still working under Morey.

More. Isaiah Joe's 2020 NBA Draft profile. light

The Sixers’ draft preparation stretches far beyond the top executive, and while this is Morey’s ship to steer, a plethora of scouts and executives will have input in who in eventually selected. Plus, since Morey arrived only recently in Philadelphia, he may defer to the more prepared executives in the front office — those who have been planning the 21st and 34th picks for months, rather than weeks.

Joe is the 26th-ranked prospect on our big board, and in this writer’s opinion, he would be fine value with the 21st pick. That said, Joe has been almost universally considered a second-round prospect by every plugged-in draft analyst. He even planned to return to school at one point, but likely put his name back in the draft because Philadelphia gave him a promise.

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Expectations are Isaiah Joe will wear a Philadelphia uniform come Thursday. Whether he’s a first-round pick with a guaranteed contract, or a second-round pick who needs to earn his keep, is still up in the air.