Philadelphia 76ers: The poison pill in Paul Reed’s offer sheet

Paul Reed, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Reed, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia 76ers have been relatively quiet during this free agency period which has been surprising to most. The signings of Patrick Beverly, and Mo Bamba, and re-signing of Montrezl Harrell do not really move the needle, and arguably more impactful have been the team’s departures. Georges Niang, Shake Milton, and Jalen McDaniels, all valuable bench rotation players, have signed elsewhere this offseason and it appears the Sixers are about to lose another key player from last year’s roster, Paul Reed.

Reed is a restricted free agent, so the Sixers can match any offer sheet he receives to keep him. However, Danny Ainge, CEO of basketball operations for the Utah Jazz, just put a poison pill in the offer sheet. Reed signed a 3-year, $23 million sheet with the Jazz, which has a very interesting stipulation in the contract.

Can the Sixers match the Utah Jazz offer sheet for Paul Reed?

As Woj details above, the offer sheet is only guaranteed for one year, unless the team that Reed plays for in 2023-24 reaches the Conference Semifinals, then the second and third years of the contract are also guaranteed for $15.7 million. The Jazz have zero chance of making the Conference Semifinals next season, so the clause is irrelevant for them. The Sixers, on the other hand, are a different story.

The Sixers have made the Conference Semifinals in five of the last six seasons and will be aiming to again with Joel Embiid in his prime basketball years. Essentially, Ainge made it so that if the Sixers match the Jazz’s offer sheet, they are likely guaranteeing Reed’s contract for three seasons. And as Woj notes, this is problematic for the Sixers.

"If Sixers match the sheet, they will exceed the $165M luxury tax threshold and incur an additional $14M in luxury tax penalties."

Bravo Danny Ainge, bravo. It was not enough for you to fleece us with the draft trade that landed the Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum and a first-round pick and the Philadelphia 76ers Markelle Fultz. Now you are poised to take the best backup center in the Embiid-era. I cannot see how Daryl Morey matches this offer sheet with the poison pill in there, but we will know for sure by 11:59 PM tomorrow when the matching deadline expires.