The Philadelphia 76ers wrapped up their Summer League with a 119-104 loss to the Chicago Bulls. They played a total of five games in Las Vegas and finished 2-3. Prior, Philly participated in the Salt Lake City Summer League where they went 2-1. The Summer League is designed to showcase incoming rookies and second/third years players who don’t normally get rotational minutes. The Summer Sixers featured Paul Reed, Isaiah Joe, Jaden Springer, Charles Bassey, recent signing Trevelin Queen, and more. Each player revealed a lot about their respective playstyles and how they’d fare in Philly’s rotation.
“Play Paul Reed!” That’s something Sixers fans have been screaming for years. In his rookie year, Reed mostly played on the Delaware Blue Coats where he won the G-League MVP award. Last season, Paul got a much larger role after Andre Drummond was dealt for James Harden. The Sixers lacked a reliable backup center, so Reed and DeAndre Jordan filled that role. The 2020 G-League MVP outshined Jordan in the 2022 playoffs and won Doc Rivers’ confidence. It may not have been a “Paul Reed victory tour” last season, but it certainly was in this year’s Summer League.
Paul Reed did his damage in the restricted area. He scored in a variety of ways such as dunks, put-backs, baby hooks, and layups. Reed played physical and out-hustled many players on the glass as usual. Away from the ball, the big man was a great backdoor cutter and had many flashy throw-downs off of lob passes. Paul even had some good playmaking moments. Reed used his gravity created off of drives to create for teammates sitting on the three-point line. In order for the young big to take that next step, he needs to up his playmaking. It should come naturally sharing the floor with shooters like Maxey, Tucker, and House.
Reed shined the brightest on the defensive end. Paul’s point of attack defense was phenomenal. He used his physical frame to deny access to the paint. Reed provided elite help defense at the rim and could switch onto forwards and centers. He played great pick-and-roll defense by either switching or dropping against the ball handler. Reed is a high intensity player on both ends who plays with an endless amount of grit. Being that type of player, he’s a pesty defender who had a knack for stripping the ball.
Overall, Reed averaged 17.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.5 turnovers, and 2.5 steals throughout two games. He shot 52.0% from the field and 40.0% from three (2.5 attempts per game). With minimal additions to Philadelphia’s frontcourt, it’s safe to assume Paul Reed will be the primary backup center along with Charles Bassey and possibly P.J. Tucker.
It’s been a slow and steady road for Isaiah Joe in his quest for rotational minutes. Throughout his first two seasons, he’s been in and out of Delaware, where he’s excelled. Joe has gotten chances with the Sixers due to COVID-19 issues and he’s put up respectable numbers for someone of his status. However, Joe’s play hasn’t granted him a spot in the regular rotation. With Isaiah’s strong Summer League stint, that could change.
Joe did what he does best and that is shooting the three ball. Isaiah knocked down the tray in a variety of ways showing his improvement offensively. The 3rd-year guard is automatic from deep coming off of screens. Joe was used in a few stagger screen actions and a ton of off-ball screens were set for him. A new facet in Joe’s game is his shot creation. The young guard has improved at creating his own space for a long range shot, midrange or from three. Isaiah attacked the bast more and his ball handling was noticably improved. He was lethal as a pick-and-pop player as well. Joe also made some quality passes that showed he’s developing in all aspects. If Joe can develop into a playmaking ball-handler, he’d certainly have a shot at cracking the rotation.
Defensively, Joe was great at stopping the ball during the point of attack. He had to defend a lot of high pick-and-rolls. Isaiah’s screen navigation was great as he could fight through them or simply switch onto another player. This along with his shooting talents could prove very useful to the Sixers.
In Las Vegas, Joe averaged 13.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.3 steals in three games. He shot 50.0% from the field and an astonishing 60.0% from three (on 6.7 attempts per game). Isaiah will definitely have some competition, but his shooting ability and improved ball handling could get him a spot in the rotation if Shake Milton were to underperform.
Isaiah Joe are you kidding me pic.twitter.com/Phw1SefcNc— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) July 15, 2022
Spending almost all of last season in Delaware, 2021 first round pick Jaden Springer fell off the radar. Prior to his selection, Philly was loaded with young talent along on top of their rotational players. So, that left Springer at the bottom of the food chain. Fortunately, Jaden played well in Delaware and helped lead them into a deep playoff run. With little to no NBA experience, Springer had to show Sixers fans who he was in the Summer League. To put it vaguely, Jaden’s performance was a mixed bag.
Offensively, Springer showed a lot of potential as a highly skilled slasher. His body control and athleticism stood out the most in terms of his scoring. He regularly drew contact and was a very crafty finisher. Jaden also played well in transition. Springer took over the third quarter of their game against the Grizzlies because of that. However, Jaden was unable to do this consistently. He was often reckless with the ball, which led to a stagnant offense or turnovers. Springer also has little playmaking instincts in the half-court and missed a lot of opportunities to create for others.
The one area where Jaden showed high potential was his all-around defense. His most noteworthy trait was his eye-catching recovery defense and blocks in the paint. His ability to recover and deny shots showed resemblance to Matisse Thybulle. Springer is an elite rim protector for his position and he stood his ground against bigs. He navigated screens well and could switch onto guards and forwards. He’s a scrappy defender who can poke the ball out of his assignment’s hands.
In Vegas, Springer averaged 9.0 points, 2.0 assists, 4.0 turnovers, and 2.0 steals throughout two games. He shot only 31.6% from the field and a horrid 16.7% from three. Jaden’s offense is very raw and unpolished. He still needs time to develop his overall game and is not NBA ready yet, despite his great defense.
Quite the defensive play from Jaden Springer pic.twitter.com/WKdfcWVfl9— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) July 6, 2022
You may remember Charles Bassey from the win against the Denver Nuggets where he dueled Nikola Jokic. Besides his stint with the COVID-affected Sixers and garbage time minutes, Bassey spent most of his rookie year in Delaware. Charles has solid potential as a starting caliber center in the NBA. Due to that, a debate sparked about who should be the backup center, Paul Reed or Bassey. With that kind of pressure, the 2nd-year center had a lot to prove in the Summer League.
Offensively, Bassey was a forceful lob threat as a cutter and in the pick-and-roll. However, his scoring ability mostly peaked there. He hit a few hooks and short jumpers, but they weren’t consistent. Bassey was short on a lot of his inside shot attempts and was sloppy with the ball. At times he was a black hole in the offense when fed an entry pass. Still, Bassey was a phenomenal screen setter on and off the ball. His pin-downs for shooters like Isaiah Joe and Trevelin Queen were great. Defensively, Bassey offered great rim protection and shot blocking. His versatile drop coverage against the pick-and-roll was devastating for opposing offenses. However, his defensive rotations were slow due to his lack of mobility.
Bassey averaged an underwhelming 5.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 turnovers, and 1.8 blocks throughout four games in Las Vegas. He shot 45.5% from the field on 5.5 shot attempts per game. Paul Reed is the better player and will be the main guy off of the bench. But, Philly’s backup center may be a committee between the two of them. Bassey will have to spend a little more time in Delaware, but will have a chance because of the Sixers lacking frontcourt depth.
Sixers fans got to see one of their many free agency signings in action. Last month, Queen inked a two-year deal with Philly worth $3.5 million. He’s set to make $1.6 million this season with only $330,000 guaranteed. Prior to this, Queen was with the Houston Rockets where he also was named the G-League MVP last season. Philly fans didn’t really know what to expect from Queen, but he certainly delivered.
Trevelin Queen was nothing short of exciting from his flashy passing to his high-flying dunks. The G-League MVP is a high energy player who dives for the ball any chance he gets. He was a blur in transition and an extremely creative finisher. Queen was a fantastic perimeter shooter and like Joe, he used screens to knock down shots. Trevelin was a very good playmaker with impressive vision. However, when faced with traps and doubles he struggled. He also had a eye-catching tendency to unnecessarily chuck up low quality shots that tanked his efficiency. Queen has some room to improve defensively as well. He often got beat on the ball handler’s first step in the point of attack.
Queen averaged 13.4 points, 3.2 assists, and 4.8 turnovers in Vegas throughout five games. He shot 34.9% from the field and 27.0% from beyond the arc. Though Queen’s shot making and wild passing was fun, it won;t be sustainable at the NBA level. Queen may be waived before the regular season to cut the roster to 15 players, but if not he’ll likely be a reserve or a Blue Coat.
Trevelin Queen… 👀 pic.twitter.com/tMShCNtta2— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) July 16, 2022