The instatement of Nick Nurse as the head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers following the firing of Doc Rivers should be a sign of things to come for the franchise. After all, his arrival could very well be felt on the roster not only in the tactics department where he’s a known topnotcher, but also in the aspect of player development.
As part of the team’s young core, Paul Reed could be one of the primary benefactors of Nurse’s developmental thrust. And considering the turmoil surrounding the franchise right now, bolstering the future in addition to the present should only serve the Sixers well in both the short and long run.
76ers coach Nick Nurse wants to mold Paul Reed into a Pascal Siakam-type player
The 76ers’ relatively surprising act of matching Reed’s gimmicky offer from the Utah Jazz was a showing of investment for the 24-year-old. Heck, it seems like Nurse is pretty high on what the young big man can turn out to be. Here’s what Reed had to say about his conversations with the new man on the sidelines in Philly.
"I’ve talked to him plenty of times and it’s always been kind of the same kind of idea. He talked about molding me into a Pascal Siakam-type player. Somebody who can kind of do it all. Shoot the ball, drive, pass, but right now, it’s all about focusing on my shot mechanics. That’s the start. That’s where it starts at."
Clearly, Nurse intends to utilize Reed not only as a relief man for Joel Embiid.
Siakam may be e very lofty benchmark for Reed, but it’s hard to not see the justifications for such. Reed already has the defensive aptitude and mobility to flourish next to Embiid. He can handle the ball a bit and crash the boards despite being undersized. It’s just a matter of unlocking his potential to be much more than just a conventional big man.
Reed actually shot above 40 percent from downtown in his G-League stint, and while that hasn’t carried over to the big league, he undoubtedly has the knack to operate in the perimeter and be a factor outside the paint. Alas, Siakam was also a post-exclusive player in his earlier years.
Hopefully, next season could be Paul Reed’s breakout year. After all, his development will be crucial to the 76ers not only in their current win-now bid, but also in how their future looks like.