Philadelphia 76ers second-round pick Isaiah Joe had a good idea of which team would select him heading into the 2020 NBA Draft. Multiple reports leading up to Wednesday night indicated the Sixers made a promise to draft Joe.
Last season, they told Washington prospect Matisse Thybulle the same and he ended up becoming Philly's first-round draft selection. While selecting Joe at pick No. 21 was out of the question, the 76ers didn't hesitate to make him the 49th overall pick.
“I feel like they really stressed the need for shooters,” the Sixers rookie said on Thursday. “That’s why they picked me at 49. They really value my skillset. I’ll be able to stretch the floor with my shooting ability. Ben Simmons is a willing passer and very capable of it and so I’m there for any kick-outs that he needs when he’s driving the lanes."
Heading into the offseason, the 76ers knew they needed to prioritize finding shooters through free agency, trades, and the draft. With Joe, they get somebody who Sixers President of Basketball Operations describes as "one of the elite shooters coming out of college."
Typically, a player who gets drafted late in the second round would have an automatic ticket to play solely in the G League. While competing with the Delaware Blue Coats is certainly an option for the former Arkansas guard, Joe is coming into the Sixers' organization with the belief that he will have an opportunity to contribute on the main roster as early as his rookie season.
“They’re willing to give me a shot, but nothing is given,” Joe mentioned. “I’ve got to work my tail off and beat out the next man, but this is a team that doesn’t have any G League aspirations for me.” While Joe did reveal he'd be open to developing his game down in Delaware, the second-round pick believes he's got a good shot at picking up some real minutes for Philly this season.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_