Anyone ask for shooters?
Minutes after adding Seth Curry and hours after acquiring Danny Green, the Sixers took yet another shooter Wednesday night in the 2020 NBA draft, selecting Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe with the 49th pick.
There’d been speculation that the Sixers had promised to take Joe at No. 21 or No. 34. He turned out to be available at No. 49, and the team evidently liked his value at that spot.
Surrounded by family, Joe received a welcome call from Sixers head coach Doc Rivers during his virtual media availability, which he called a “nice warming feeling.”
While Joe made only 34.2 percent of his three-point attempts as a sophomore, that number was dented by a 13-for-47 stretch when he played through a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. Joe returned for the end of Arkansas’ season.
As a freshman, he sunk 41.4 percent of his threes on 8.0 attempts per contest. There’s no question he has comfortable NBA range, plentiful confidence and little issue finding opportunities to let it fly.
“Isaiah Joe’s not too complicated,” Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said early Thursday morning. “He’s just one of these elite shooters coming out of college. A little more defensive potential, in our minds, than people give him credit for. That’s not what he’s going to hang his hat on, but the shooting is truly elite and we felt like it was a great bet.”
Defensively, the 6-foot-5 Joe moves well laterally and managed 1.5 steals per game in college.
“I don’t think he’s a good defender; I think he is a great defender,” Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman said, per NBA.com. “He is long. He’s got great anticipation. He understands his assignment every night. It’s not often [that] when you have a scorer, you can put him on an offensive weapon on the other team.”
With the 58th pick, the Sixers snagged power forward Paul Reed. The DePaul product averaged 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.9 steals his junior season. That level of production is comparable to former Sixer Nerlens Noel.
Though Reed can stretch his range to the three-point line, that’s not his calling card. His versatility and defensive disruptiveness are what jump out.
The Sixers’ decision to trade Al Horford to the Thunder earlier Wednesday left the team low on big men behind Joel Embiid.
“Paul Reed, super underrated in our minds,” Morey said. “Especially with the Al Horford move, there’s a path there. He can also guard multiple positions. With Joel, for the 13 to 15 minutes when he’s off the floor, Paul Reed’s a guy who can guard multiple positions and we can play a dynamic, up-tempo shooting (style).
“Good fit with Ben (Simmons). Obviously they’re all rookies, so the reality is most rookies take more than a year to even contribute, but obviously Joel and Ben are going to be here a long time and we feel like all the guys we took are very good fits with those guys.”