When Paul Reed signed his two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, he knew that sooner than later, he'd have to leave Philly to join the team's NBA G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, to develop his game on a different level.
So, a few months ago, Reed and the rest of the Blue Coats flocked down to Florida to participate in the NBA G League's bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Nobody knew exactly what to expect out of Reed, but he quickly established himself as a bonafide standout as he dominated the competition.
Not only was Reed instrumental in the Blue Coats' overall success in the regular season, but he's also one of very few candidates in the NBA G League's MVP race. In 15 games, Reed averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks while shooting 58-percent from the field and knocking down 44-percent of his threes.
Reed's progress in the G League helped him improve his confidence as he helped lead his team on its first playoff run in Blue Coats history. "Let's say my confidence was on a five before," Reed said on Friday. "Now, it's on a ten."
At this point, the G League bubble experience is over for Reed and the Coats. Now, he's back in Philly with his Sixers teammates. Before heading down south a few months back, Reed was nothing more than a question mark to the Sixers' organization as his playing time on the main roster was expectedly limited.
Now that he's got an entire G League run in the bag, Reed looks back on the experience and saw it as extremely beneficial to his game. "The experience was great," Reed explained. "We were there for like, almost two months. Being there, not being able to leave, nobody being able to visit -- it kinda like, limits distractions and allowed me to focus on getting better every single day."
Reed went into the bubble, not with the mindset of wanting to dominate in areas he's already good at. Instead, he wanted to make sure he improved his game in certain areas, such as long-range shooting and getting stronger down low.
"I kind of took that time in the bubble and tried to use it to my advantage," Reed continued. "[I was] making sure every day I was working on myself. Doing a lot of push-ups, a lot of sit-ups, a lot of burpees. You know, it was just a great experience. I met some new teammates, some new friends, and I got a different style of coaching too. It was a good experience."
Reed's G League run might not get him on the court much for the Sixers this year as he still has a long way to go before he cracks that rotation. But based on what he put on display down in Florida this winter, Reed might just earn himself an NBA contract, getting him off of the two-way deal. If that happens as speculated, the G League bubble will then surely prove to be beneficial for Reed, who has already shown glimpses of a bright future with the Sixers.