Philadelphia 76ers: Paul Reed was the biggest steal in the NBA Draft

The Philadelphia 76ers getting DePaul center Paul Reed with the 58th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft might be, for value, the best selection in the entire draft.

When the end of the second round of the draft comes along and they still have a draft choice, Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris usually lines his pocket and sells the pick.

However, any thought of enriching the already rich owners was put to a screeching halt, when the new Sixers basketball management team saw who was still on the board when their 58th overall selection rolled around.

Paul Reed.

Sorry Josh; Daryl Morey and Elton Brand probably informed him, instead of money in the bank, we are taking a player who is money.

Gathering information on Reed as a player, it seems completely dumbfounding how the 6-foot-9, 220-pound center/forward was still on the board, a mere three spots away from not being drafted at all.

Even Morey afterward expressed some surprise a player like Reed was still available. He began immediately throwing out that Reed could be Joel Embiid’s backup this season. Usually, the 58th pick in the draft is hoping to, maybe, get an invitation to tryout for a club’s G-League team.

“Paul Reed is super under-rated in our minds,” said Morey on early Thursday. “With the trade of Al Horford, there is a path there to back up Joel. He can also guard multiple positions. When Joel is off the floor, we can play a dynamic, up-tempo game. He would fit in with Ben (Simmons).”

That is a pretty big assessment for a player selected 58th out of 60 players in the draft.

Now, the reality might be a two-way contract for Reed to start the season. Of course, the Sixers have had as many as five centers under Elton Brand on the roster so, if he looks good in training camp, do not discount Reed starting the season with the 76ers.

The major attribute of Reed is that, in his own words, he will be ‘running the floor like a deer’. Coach Doc Rivers and Morey are obviously anxious to get a look at a fast break with Simmons and a 6-foot-9, 220-pounder who runs like a deer.

Despite his height, Reed can play center thanks to a 7-foot-2 wingspan. Playing in the rugged Big East for DePaul, he averaged an impressive 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks shots a game. And remember, he can run like a deer.

So it is not like Reed was tucked away in some small college that gets little exposure that the Sixers scouts uncovered. He played on a big-name team in a big-name conference.

And there are some people who noticed. Chad Ford of NBAbigboard.com had him going between 15 and 30 in the draft. He rated Reed as 20th on his board. Jason McIntyre of Fox Sports had Reed going 17th overall. Tankathon had him rated as the fifth-best power forward in the draft.

Now, there were others who had Reed dropping to the second round, but not hanging around at 58.

Usually, if a player ends up dropping much farther than expected, there might be some kind of an  issue that teams know about that the public may not.

However, Reed seems to be a totally standup guy.

He is a hard-worker who won Big East Most Improved Player as a sophomore. If anything, he is known for having a motor that never stops. He also made the Big East All-Academic team twice.

He seems like a good guy and great teammate. So what is the problem with Reed? It really is confounding.

As far as one can tell, it is because he was a junior in college and as a post player, well, he likes to play in the post.

Apparently the fact that he can go to a bar (before 10 p.m. of course) and get a drink with the guys is held against him. NBA teams want 19-year-old kids who, in the their minds, have ‘potential’ because they are so young, and think they can develop into stars.

Related Story: Grading the 2020 NBA Draft picks

By the way, ‘Old man’ Reed is a whole 21-years-old. And he only turned 21 in June.

Is Reed like a very tall shooting guard who can knock down threes like Anthony Davis? No, he only made 30-percent of his three-point attempts at DePaul.

On offense, as already noted, he can run the floor on the fast break and he hits the offensive glass hard. He also, with his length and jumping ability, is great at catching lob passes. As Morey said, Reed seems like the perfect frontcourt complement for Simmons.

So Reed ‘only’ runs the floor, grabs offensive rebounds and jams home lobs on offense.  And he had to play inside in college so they were not asking him to be an outside shooter. He could develop a three-point shot.

Defensively, Reed is a tough matchup 1-on-1 to score on with his length and shot blocking ability. He probably will need to learn the slides of an NBA defense, but so will every rookie.

So analyzing his game, one has to wonder: What is the deal? How the heck was Paul Reed still there at 58 for the Sixers to basically steal?

Simply comparing size, athletic ability, overall game and stats, Reed does not seem much different than Washington center Isaiah Stewart, who went at No. 14 to the Detroit Pistons.

Seriously, is there something the 29 other teams knew that the 76ers did not to pass on him? It does not make sense.

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Looking from all angles, it appears the 76ers might have made the steal of the draft.