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2019 NBA draft profile: LSU's Naz Reid is highly skilled, but his defense may be an issue for Sixers

2019 NBA draft profile: LSU's Naz Reid is highly skilled, but his defense may be an issue for Sixers

Position: Center

Height: 6-9 1/2

Weight: 255

School: LSU

Naz Reid had an eventful freshman season at LSU. He was caught up in the NCAA bribery scandal where head coach Will Wade was caught on tape discussing a $300,000 payment involving the big man’s recruitment. Reid has denied accepting any money.

A five-star recruit out of Asbury Park, New Jersey, Reid was a highly coveted prospect. He didn’t quite live up to the recruitment hype, but had a solid one-and-done season at LSU. He averaged 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. He helped the Tigers win two NCAA Tournament games and was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. 

Strengths

Reid played more as a power forward/stretch four than a center and his skill level stands out. He displayed a little bit of a handle and nice touch both at the rim and on his jumper. He shot 33 percent from three. That’s not an elite number, but it’s strong for a near seven-footer and his form is pretty sound. He’s smooth and crafty finishing around the rim.

He plays with a lot of energy and frequently fought for offensive rebounds. It looks like he is playing with effort defensively.

Weaknesses

Conditioning is a huge concern. Reid didn’t help quell those questions when he showed up to the NBA combine at 14 percent body fat. The second-worst body fat percentage was 9.8. It’s a bit of a red flag that Reid didn’t work himself into better shape with those concerns hanging over him.

At times, he tried to do a little too much. He’s skilled, but would go to the basket with tunnel vision, often throwing up wild shots.

He can’t play a stretch four role in the NBA and there isn’t much to go off of him playing at the five. He doesn’t appear to have the feet to be switchable or the athleticism to protect the rim effectively. He had some of the worst agility numbers at the combine and only put up three reps on the bench, so strength is also a concern.

He’s denied any wrongdoing, but the scandal is out there and he’ll have plenty of questions to answer.

Fit

The need for a backup center is obvious, but Reid doesn’t seem like the type of guy the Sixers should be looking for. The biggest issue the Sixers’ backup bigs had was moving on defense. There’s no evidence that Reid would be any better in that regard.

He is extremely skilled and a big that can shoot would help Ben Simmons with floor spacing. Maybe the Sixers can afford to take a flyer with one of their four second-round picks. They’d have to hope that Reid can — and more importantly wants to — get in much better shape to handle playing NBA minutes.

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Sixers vs. Detroit Pistons preseason: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

Sixers vs. Detroit Pistons preseason: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

Updated: 5:48 p.m. — Andre Drummond (rest) is not playing tonight.

The Sixers are back home and back on NBC Sports Philadelphia tonight.

Below are the essentials for their preseason game against the Detroit Pistons. The Sixers are 3-0 in the preseason and Detroit is 2-1.

• When: 7 p.m. ET 
• Where: Wells Fargo Center 
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

And here are three storylines to watch:

Key Sixers out 

Last season, the Sixers were without Mike Muscala and Wilson Chandler, two key bench players at the time, for opening night against the Celtics. They're determined to be fully healthy this year.

Ben Simmons (back tightness), James Ennis (right calf strain) and Al Horford (rest) are all out for tonight's game. The sensible, obvious goal for the Sixers is to have everyone fresh and ready to go next Wednesday vs. Boston.

All-Star forward Blake Griffin is out for the Pistons with left hamstring soreness.

The offense is humming 

General manager Elton Brand forecasted in July that the Sixers would be one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, but he thought it was "going to take some time" to figure things out on offense.

Through three preseason games, though, the offense has been excellent. The Sixers are first in the NBA in offensive rating (119.7), offensive rebounding percentage (35.4 percent) and assist to turnover ratio (1.69), and tied for first in assists per game (30.3). The caveats of having played their preseason opener against an inferior Chinese Basketball Association team and the sample size being minuscule are important, but the offense has performed very well so far. 

Embiid vs. Drummond, preseason edition 

Yes, it's just the preseason, but there's often drama when Joel Embiid and Pistons center Drummond match up. 

Just last season, the following happened: Drummond was ejected for an elbow to Embiid's face during the Pistons' overtime win vs. the Sixers on Oct. 23, and Embiid appeared to exaggerate the contact. Embiid told reporters after the game that he "owns a lot of real estate in [Drummond's] head," which led to the feud spiraling to social media. In their next meeting, on Nov. 3 at Wells Fargo Center, Embiid posted 39 points and 17 rebounds in a victory, then said of Drummond and then-Pistons backup center Zaza Pachulia, "I kicked both of their a--." 

The trash talk between the two dates further back than last season, too. When Embiid and Drummond share the floor, it's usually worth watching, and then listening to what the two have to say afterwards.

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Special Sixers Budweiser beer cans are coming this season

Special Sixers Budweiser beer cans are coming this season

If you ever wanted to drink a beer and show your Sixers fandom at the same time, there's now an easy way to do it — outside of sipping a beer and wearing a Ben Simmons jersey, screaming at the TV during a heated Sixers-Celtics game or insisting to your uncle's friend's friend that Joel Embiid is a much better player than Anthony Davis. 

The Sixers have partnered with Budweiser this season to release co-branded cans in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region. As you can see in the images below, courtesy of the Sixers, the cans are a classic red and blue, with a Sixers' logo in the middle of a basketball court outline, and "The City of Brotherly Love" in script near the top.

According to the Sixers, they're the ninth NBA team to be featured on a Budweiser can. A special 24-ounce edition will be released later in the season that will be offered in-game, plus anywhere 12-ounce Budweisers are sold in the area.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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