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Paul Reed Aims for a Bigger Role in the 76ers Lineup Beyond Backup to Joel Embiid

Paul Reed aspires to secure a spot in the Philadelphia 76ers’ starting lineup ahead of the upcoming season. The Utah Jazz exerted pressure on the Sixers to offer Paul Reed a significant contract during this summer.

Despite initially being a second-round draft pick, Reed became a restricted free agent and received a three-year contract offer exceeding $23 million.

Given that the Sixers had already acquired Mo Bamba, re-signed Montrezl Harrell, and had intentions to bring in former second-round pick Filip Petrusev from Europe, there was a widespread belief that Reed was destined for the Utah Jazz.

The Sixers made the decision to match the offer sheet presented by the Jazz, ensuring that Reed will remain with them for the 2023-2024 NBA season and beyond.

Reed, a young veteran, secured this substantial contract following an impressive third season with the Sixers.

Although he didn’t initially serve as Joel Embiid’s primary backup during the 2022-2023 season, that’s the role he eventually assumed.

In the previous season, Reed played as the backup center in 67 games, averaging 4 points and 4 rebounds while logging 11 minutes per game.

During the playoffs, he participated in 11 Sixers games and even started in place of Embiid for two of them.

Once again, Reed demonstrated his potential by averaging five points and six rebounds while playing for 14 minutes per game.

As Reed prepares for his fourth season with the Sixers, it might be expected that he’ll continue as a backup to Embiid.

Nonetheless, according to The Athletic’s Law Murray, Reed is aiming for the starting power forward position alongside the reigning MVP big man for the 2023-2024 season.

“Paul Reed told me this month that he is eyeing minutes at the power forward spot and would like a chance to start after Philadelphia matched an offer sheet from Utah to retain Reed,”. Murray wrote while ranking the league’s starting fours.

The insider pointed out that Philadelphia’s current starting power forward, PJ Tucker, is a “champion role player” and questioned his likelihood of retaining the starting position in the upcoming season due to Reed’s presence.

Tucker, who was the most notable free-agent signing for the Sixers last year, signed a three-year deal after his one-year stint with the Miami Heat.

Tucker started in all 75 games he played, averaging 26 minutes per game, contributing four points and four rebounds per game.

Despite not being a high scorer, Tucker excelled in his role, shooting 39 percent from three-point range and excelling in defensive assignments against some of the toughest opponents for the Sixers.

Under former head coach Doc Rivers, it was clear that Tucker had significant support. However, with Nick Nurse now in charge, it’s uncertain whether Tucker will continue as a Sixers’ starter or transition to a reserve role.

Regardless of Nurse’s plans, Reed appears determined to compete for a starting role.

While he is currently best suited as Embiid’s primary backup, especially with Montrezl Harrell sidelined due to a knee injury, Reed has expressed his willingness to embrace a hybrid role.

It remains to be seen if Nurse shares the same vision for Reed’s role in the team.

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