Skip to main content

The Philadelphia 76ers came out of the 2020 NBA Draft with three new players. In the first round, they selected Tyrese Maxey out of Kentucky. Later on, they grabbed Isaiah Joe out of Arkansas in the second round before snagging Paul Reed out of DePaul.

Maxey made a name for himself last season as he appeared in 61 games during the regular season and 12 games during the playoffs. On the other hand, Reed didn't play too much for the Sixers but earned MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in the G League.

Meanwhile, Isaiah Joe showed flashes both on the NBA and G League levels. While he didn't have the same amount of shine as Maxey or Reed last Year, Joe has been a clear-cut standout for the Sixers through four preseason games.

Shooting roughly 60-percent from beyond the arc and averaging 17 points per game, Joe has been lights out in the preseason this year. While some outsiders might be surprised by the second-year emergence from Joe, young 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey could see it coming from a mile away.

Read More

"I'm not surprised one bit," Maxey said before Friday's preseason finale. "I remember last year during a couple of little mini-games that I played in the very first one I think he had like 40 on me. I'm just playing, he didn't have 40, but he wasn't missing! And I'm like, 'Man, this dude really does not miss.' I just see him putting in work day by day by day and getting even better and better. It was great to see him like that. I love seeing him in the games, but in practice, when I had to guard him, it was not very fun."

Unlike Maxey, Joe didn't have a guaranteed role during the regular season heading into the 2021-2022 run. Therefore, he had to do everything in his power to prove to Sixers head coach Doc Rivers that he deserves a shot. On Friday, Joe had one last chance to state his case for cracking the rotation. He knocked down four of his eight attempts from beyond the arc and collected 14 points. 

Will it be enough? Right now, it's unclear. Rivers and the Sixers' coaching staff have a few days to assess everything before they open the season up on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans. While it's not a guarantee Joe will crack the regular-season rotation right now, he surely impressed his coaches and peers during his second NBA training camp this offseason.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.