Sixers rookie Paul Reed sets ambitious goals for himself.
He checked one of them off Monday, being named MVP of the G League. Reed, a DePaul product selected 58th in this year's draft, was also named Rookie of the Year. According to the G League, Reed is the third player in league history to win both awards.
“No cap, I didn’t even know I was in the running for MVP," he said earlier this month after leading the Delaware Blue Coats to the G League Finals. “That’s lit. … Before the season even started, it was on my goals. I write down my goals almost every day and that’s one of my goals. ... I put the work in and it’s paying off. It’s a good feeling, but I’ve just got to keep working. Keep working, keep going hard, stay humble. That’s the biggest thing. I don’t want to get ahead of myself so I try to contain my emotions.”
Reed averaged 22.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.8 blocks in 15 regular-season games in the G League's "bubble" in Orlando, Florida. Delaware made the postseason for the first time in team history, losing to the Lakeland Magic in the Finals.
He shot 44.4 percent from three-point range on 3.6 attempts per game. Blue Coats head coach Connor Johnson thought questions about Reed's shooting form were "a little overblown" and encouraged him to take open jumpers. If Reed's shooting success translates to the NBA, it could boost his case to eventually receive stretch four/stretch five minutes for the Sixers. (We explored Reed's game in detail here.)
“That was a conscious effort for me to improve," Reed said last week. “Before the season I set goals for myself and one of my goals was to shoot 45 percent from three. What helped was my coach, he gave me confidence. He was telling me to shoot the ball more and I was like, ‘All right, I can do that.’ So I started shooting them more and more started going in.”
The 6-foot-8 Reed played in garbage time of the Sixers' recent wins over the Spurs and Kings. Barring a trade, he'll be with the team for the rest of the season. Two-way players like Reed and Sixers guard Rayjon Tucker will reportedly be playoff-eligible this year for the first time.
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey thought the team was fortunate that Reed was available to select late in the second round. So far, so good for the 21-year-old known as "BBall Paul."