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2020 NBA draft profile: Paul Reed is type of unique, versatile prospect Sixers should covet

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2020 NBA draft profile: Paul Reed is type of unique, versatile prospect Sixers should covet

Paul Reed

Position: PF/C
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 220 pounds
School: DePaul

Paul Reed entered high school in Florida at 6-foot-2 but grew to 6-foot-8 by his senior year. That might explain why he shows so much skill for a player his size. A three-star recruit out of high school, Reed has a strong pedigree with his dad playing professionally overseas and his uncle being former NFL wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker.

As he grew into his body and role at DePaul, Reed improved in each season. After not playing much his freshman season, Reed earned Most Improved Player in the Big East his sophomore year. By his junior season in 2019-20, he earned Second Team All-Big East honors by averaging 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.9 steals. 

Strengths

Reed has a ton of skill for a player with his size and length. He’ll be a mismatch problem at the next level with his ability to put the ball on the floor against bigs and take guards into the post.

His shot is funky but it shows promise. He didn’t take a ton (1.1 per game), but he hit 33 percent of his threes in college. He also made 73.9 percent of his free throws. He showed a strong midrange jumper and flashed the ability to shoot off the dribble. He also has nice touch around the rim with his floater and hook shoot and features a nasty Euro step.

Where Reed is most intriguing is defensively. At 6-foot-9 with a reported 7-foot-2 wingspan, Reed is the type of big NBA GMs salivate over. He has enough athleticism to switch out on guards on occasion. He’s also extremely disruptive. He was second in the Big East in both blocks and steals and led the conference in defensive win shares and defensive rating in 2019-20.

He also proved to have a knack as a rebounder. He led the Big East in total rebounds and was second in boards per game this season. 

Weaknesses

While Reed’s skill set is intriguing at his size, it did cause problems in the way of turnovers. As a focal point of DePaul’s offense this season, Reed had a tendency to get overzealous with putting the ball on the floor.

At his size and with his athletic ability, he could be a dynamic roller at the NBA level. He didn’t run a ton of pick-and-roll at DePaul and his screen setting leaves a lot to be desired.

The height and length are tantalizing, but he’ll need to get stronger to finish at the rim and guard NBA bigs. The good news is he looks like he has the frame to hold more muscle.

While positionless basketball is the way the NBA is trending, I still worry a bit about where Reed fits. Will he get strong enough to hang on the block? Is he agile enough to operate on the perimeter?

Fit

When I watch Reed, I see a little bit of Jerami Grant and Nerlens Noel. He has more skill offensively and shows more promise with his shot than either player did coming out of college. But his frame, versatility defensively and disruptive nature are reminiscent of both former Sixers. 

Players like Reed are what the NBA is looking for. He possesses ideal size and length to be switchable defensively. If he hits NBA threes, you could have an extremely versatile weapon.

At worst, Reed could be a player like Grant that provides off-ball rim protection, defensive versatility, athleticism and competent outside shooting. If he fine-tunes his offensive game, he could be more.

Reed has been rising and could be gone before the Sixers make their picks in the second round at 34 and 36. Reed’s skill set could be one worth maneuvering up or down to acquire. He could be extremely intriguing as a small-ball five playing with Ben Simmons or as a stretch four next to Joel Embiid. Players this unique and versatile are worth taking a flyer on.

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Sixers injury update: Joel Embiid (left ankle) out against Suns; Ben Simmons has surgery

Sixers injury update: Joel Embiid (left ankle) out against Suns; Ben Simmons has surgery

The Sixers’ injury update on Monday was a long one. 

Joel Embiid is out for Tuesday’s game against the Suns with the left ankle injury he sustained in the first quarter Sunday vs. the Blazers. He’ll be undergoing treatment and evaluation at the team’s practice Monday night.

Brett Brown wasn’t sure if Embiid would play Wednesday vs. the Raptors, but he expects the three-time All-Star to appear again before the postseason and indicated he doesn't view the injury as serious. The Sixers’ last seeding contest has been officially assigned for Friday at 9 p.m. against the Rockets. 

“I do expect him to,” Brown said. “That’s just one man’s opinion. Nobody’s doing cartwheels over, ‘It’s something severe,’ one. Two, I do believe it would be good for him to play before the playoffs begin.”

Josh Richardson, who scored 34 points against Portland, will rest Tuesday. Tobias Harris is questionable with right ankle soreness and Al Horford is questionable with left knee soreness. Harris hasn’t missed a game this season, while Horford said in July, “I probably wasn’t where I wanted to be” physically earlier in the season but felt “in a much better place” after being able to rest during the NBA’s hiatus. 

The length of the injury report is not surprising after Brown on Sunday seemed receptive when asked about possibly restricting minutes for key players in the team’s final three seeding games.

“I think it’s true ... where you want an honest sort of medical assessment of anything that equals a potential problem — you just want to avoid (it),” he said. “And landing the plane and entering the playoffs from this vision line of a bubble and time off and tiptoeing on pins and needles where you don’t want people to get injured, and then still find a rhythm, that’s a slippery slope. 

“You mentioned Jo. I think the question extends to people like Al Horford, as an example. Making sure Tobias is in a place where we can manage his minutes going forward and still find that balance of trying to compete and find a rhythm.”

Ben Simmons was the other player on Monday’s report. 

The 24-year-old had successful surgery to remove a loose body in his left knee, the team said, performed by Dr. Chris Dodson from Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. He’ll begin rehabilitation in Philadelphia immediately and will have a post-operative evaluation in approximately two weeks. 

Mike Scott, who missed the Sixers’ first three seeding games with right knee soreness, said he’s feeling well now. He saw time as a small-ball center against the Trail Blazers, scoring nine points and grabbing four rebounds, and will likely assume a key role on Tuesday.

“Just a little swelling,” he said of his knee. “Had to get it drained, so it was kind of holding me down a little bit, but it feels better now. Got it drained, so feeling a lot better.”

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Sixers Talk podcast: A lot more questions than answers right now

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Sixers Talk podcast: A lot more questions than answers right now

On this edition of the Sixers Talk podcast, we discuss the health of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, whether the All-Star duo should stay together and much more.

(0:32) — Embiid suffers an injury and Lillard drops 51.
(9:16) — Don't expect a deep playoff run.
(14:30) — More pressure on Shake Milton or Josh Richardson going forward?
(21:41) — Will Brett Brown get a pass if the Sixers don't succeed?
(34:39) — Here we go with the trading Embiid or Simmons talk again.

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