Should the Sixers bring back Paul Reed?
If you know me, you know my answer. Paul Reed cemented himself as the backup center behind Joel Embiid late in the season, and his performance in the playoffs was largely impressive. He needs to improve as a decision-maker, but Reed’s talent leaps off the screen on both sides of the ball. He was — and this is not hyperbole — the Sixers’ most impactful reserve in the playoffs.
Reed is already a good NBA defender. The fouls are a problem, but with another summer to work on his game and more reps next season, he should begin to better understand where to be on defense. He hustles, he takes every opportunity to make a play on the ball (sometimes to his detriment), and he’s mobile enough to guard in space. The next step is being smarter with his gambles. He’s a deflections magnet, but too often he lunges for the ball when the probability of a steal is infinitesimal. Smarter gambles with his same energy level will lead to impactful defense without nightly foul trouble.
There’s plenty to like on the offensive end too. Reed likes to get out and run in transition, and the Sixers have two guards who can kickstart transition offense. It allows the Sixers to play faster and freer when Embiid sits. He’s also a burgeoning spot-up shooter (he shot over 40 percent from 3 in the G-League) with some nifty moves around the rim. Like on the defensive end, he sometimes tries to do too much, but the talent and skill set are present. With more reps and more time next to James Harden, he will get better at fitting into his role.
So, of course the Sixers should bring Paul Reed back. It would appear Doc Rivers might actually play him now. Philadelphia has been searching for the answer at backup center since the dawn of time, so Reed’s arrival should be welcomed with something like a… victory tour.
Final vote: YEA