5 Philadelphia 76ers who may not return next season

(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

2. Paul Reed

The Philadelphia 76ers have the option to spend above the cap to re-sign Paul Reed, but here’s the rub: Reed is a very promising young player who has been stifled by the age bias of Doc Rivers and the general nature of playing center on a team that employs Joel Embiid and wants to win the championship.

It would not shock me if another team — probably in the rebuilding vein, a la Charlotte or San Antonio — was willing to shell out a considerable dollar amount to acquire Reed’s services. Even in limited playing time, his defensive upside has been on full display. His advanced numbers defensively are off the charts and he shows some intriguing flashes offensively, to boot.

The Sixers, meanwhile, have to make a decision on how much they value Reed. Is he going to get consistent minutes if Daryl Morey signs another minimum-contract veteran (a.k.a., Doc Rivers asks for another minimum-contract veteran). Montrezl Harrell ate up 60 percent of the season as the backup center before Rivers reached the (very obvious) conclusion that Reed is Philadelphia’s best option behind Embiid. And now, Reed is at risk of being shelved in the playoffs in favor of P.J. Tucker small-ball units.

Reed is probably the most consistently positive backup center of the Embiid era, which is moderately sad but also a ringing endorsement of his two-way talent. Versatile bigs who can defend the perimeter, rack up deflections, and finish with finesse around the rim are not easy to come by. The Sixers should want to keep him around, but don’t be shocked if another team bids too high for the front office’s liking.