NBA free agency

Sixers match Reed's offer sheet, keep him in Philadelphia

The big man will be back for the Sixers.

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Paul Reed isn’t going anywhere. 

The Sixers on Sunday matched the three-year, $23 million offer sheet Reed signed with the Jazz, a team source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news, although Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey signaled his decision on Twitter a minute or so prior with a nod to Reed's personal slogan of "Out the mud." (Later, Morey more formally announced that the Sixers re-signed Reed.)

Wojnarowski reported that Year 1 of the deal is fully guaranteed and the final two seasons will become guaranteed if the Sixers advance to the conference semifinals in the 2023-24 campaign.

Reed secured the Sixers’ backup center spot last year and had two impressive playoff starts when Joel Embiid was sidelined by a right knee injury. With Reed starting, the Sixers sealed a first-round sweep of the Nets and stunned the Celtics to begin Round 2.

In the regular season, Reed played 69 games. Per 36 minutes, he averaged 13.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.2 steals. Reed gradually gained the confidence of James Harden and head coach Doc Rivers, bumping Montrezl Harrell from the Sixers' rotation. Harrell will also be back with the Sixers next season on a one-year, minimum-salary deal. The team picked up center Mo Bamba in free agency, too.

The Sixers selected Reed 58th overall three years ago on Morey’s first draft night with the team. They watched him flourish as a rookie in the G League, where he won MVP. At the NBA level, Reed has been an elite offensive rebounder. He recorded a 14.5 offensive rebounding percentage on missed Sixers field goals last season, which put him in the 94th percentile among big men, per Cleaning the Glass. 

Defensively, Reed’s activity, versatility, and production all align with the way new Sixers head coach Nick Nurse’s Raptors teams played in recent seasons.

It will be interesting to see what approach Nurse takes with Reed’s shooting. Though Reed displayed some shooting range in college and the G League, he hasn't done the same in the NBA.

“That’s definitely a part of my game already, but that’s not what the team was asking from me,” Reed said at his 2022 exit interview. “We have guys out there that are three-point shooters, and one thing that the coaches and my teammates were emphasizing to me was don’t focus on shooting threes; focus on rebounding and getting guys like Georges Niang more shots or Tyrese Maxey more shots.”

A final-day three-pointer in Brooklyn was Reed’s lone long-distance make last season. If Reed proved himself to be a respectable NBA outside shooter, there’d be greater reason to believe he could do well in significant minutes alongside Embiid. Compared to the typical head coach, Nurse likes to be involved with players’ shots and believe that meaningful improvements are possible.

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