Nick Nurse mentioned on The Pat Bev Pod that the Sixers will play Paul Reed next to Joel Embiid this season.
But should he start instead of PJ Tucker?
Is it time for the Paul Reed Victory Tour?
After signing a 3-year, $23 million contract to return to the Sixers this summer, Paul Reed is looking for a larger role this season under Nick Nurse. He averaged 4 points in 10 minutes during the regular season and 5 points in 14 minutes in the playoffs. In his three years under Doc Rivers, Reed struggled to get minutes consistently as Rivers refused to develop his young players. Well, Nick Nurse strongly believes the opposite.
Now, Paul Reed is feeling confident that he deserves a more significant role as a power forward. With Mo Bamba as the new backup center, Reed is gunning for the starting power forward position over PJ Tucker, and it’s worth a shot.
“I think he’s ready to take a step up. He can play.”
Every Sixers fan has echoed Nurse’s statement for the past two years. All summer, Reed has been working hard to improve, including his jump shot. He’s also been talking to Nurse about growing his role, to which Nurse seems to be on the same page. The former G-league MVP does the dirty work that no one else wants to do. If Reed is in the starting lineup, it provides the Sixers with an extra rim protector, paint defender, and a great rebounder.
Reed is willing to do the little things Embiid doesn’t want to concentrate on all the time. His youthful energy is something the Sixers starting lineup will need. Paul Reed starting next to Embiid would not only open a lot of opportunities for him but for the Sixers as a whole.
What about P.J. Tucker?
There were two reasons for the Sixers signing PJ Tucker. 1) Joel Embiid publicly said he wanted him, and 2) he’s a great piece alongside James Harden. With Harden seemingly on his way out the door, Tucker’s efficiency might diminish. As we saw last season, when Harden was out, Tucker struggled to find his rhythm. When Harden does leave, Tucker’s role needs to be reduced to a defensive energy off the bench who can occasionally hit a three.
But it is likely that Tucker could be a piece in a potential Harden deal. If that does happen, the Sixers will have to decide whether to start small or go big with Reed next to Embiid.
Only time will tell what Nick Nurse will do with the starting lineup now, but he seems more open to things Doc Rivers would never give thought to.
If the move is right, Reed is all but ready to be introduced as a starter this season.
Bball Paul’s development this season will be one of the bright spots heading into what seems to be another dramatic training camp.
His emergence will be very fun to watch.
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