two-way rookie Paul Reed has quickly become a fan favorite through the first four months of his NBA career. As the former DePaul standout came into the organization as a late second-round pick, the expectations weren't high for the young prospect who admitted he needed to 'get out the mud.'
In an attempt to have him develop his game more, the Sixers sent Reed down to Orlando, Florida, to participate in the G League bubble. Little did the Sixers know he would emerge as the best player in the league this season.
In 15 games, Reed averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds. He led the entire league in double-doubles with 12 total. Thanks to his solo contributions, Reed helped lead the Delaware Blue Coats to its first playoff appearance in franchise history.
Although Delaware came up short in the G League Finals, Reed still collected a handful of honors as he was named All-NBA G League First Team, All-Rookie Team, and All-Defensive Team. Also, he earned the right to be called the NBA G League's Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player.
To reward Reed for his progress, the rookie earned a standard NBA contract last Friday. And now that he's officially a part of the regular roster, Sixers fans would like to see him get some minutes in the regular rotation as well.
But that's where Sixers head coach Doc Rivers wants to pump the brakes. While Rivers has credited Reed for his quick and impressive development over the last few months, Philly's head coach isn't ready to throw Reed in the mix on the main roster yet.
On Monday, after the 76ers wrapped up one of a very few practice sessions this season, Rivers was asked about Reed's possible playing time moving forward. Honest as always, Rivers didn't sugarcoat his outlook on the situation.
“I think he’s got a fantastic future, but he also has Tobias Harris in front of him and Ben Simmons and some pretty good players, so you obviously can’t play everybody,” Rivers explained. Sounds familiar. While the two other Sixers rookies, Isaiah Joe and Tyrese Maxey, have also shown a lot of progress in their first season, Rivers offered the same message in regards to them.
There are only so many minutes to go around -- and not everybody can play -- especially on a team that's clearly contending for a championship. So, does that mean Reed won't get any minutes moving forward? Not exactly.
“What I love about him is how hard he plays, and, and he has a competitive gene that can’t be taught," Rivers continued. "He has it. It’s in him, so you feel comfortable throwing him in any situation. He may make mistakes, but he’s going to compete, and sometimes, that is an edge that may take you over the top, so we’ll throw him in there at times.”
The chances of Reed becoming a regular in Philly's rotation are slim to none. While he might see some minutes every now and then, the Sixers' rotation will only shrink as the playoffs approach. And once the postseason rolls around, don't count on seeing any of the rookies garner too many minutes -- if any at all.