The Sixers did not take much of a break after the NBA’s trade deadline passed on Thursday afternoon. On Friday night, the team announced the signings of guard Mason Jones to a two-way contract and forward Paul Reed to a standard NBA contract. Reed had been on a two-way deal prior to being converted.
Reed was named the 2021 NBA G League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year earlier this week. He was the only player to average at least 22 points and 11 rebounds per game during the G-League season. Of course, he played a critical role in the Delaware Blue Coats qualifying for their first ever playoff appearance. Reed led the G-League with twelve double-doubles in fifteen games. He was the first player in Delaware franchise history to earn either MVP or Rookie of the Year honors.
Reed converted nearly 59 percent of his field goal attempts. He also knocked down more than 44 percent of his three-point looks. He connected on nearly 79 percent of his free throw attempts for the Blue Coats. Reed was recently named to the All-NBA G League First Team, All-Rookie Team and All-Defensive Team.
A Long-Standing Interest
Jones, a rookie from Arkansas, appeared in 26 games for the Houston Rockets earlier this season. He also played on a two-way contract with Houston. With the Rockets, he averaged just under 6 points, 2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in nearly 12 minutes per game.
Following the 2019-20 season, Jones was named SEC Co-Player of the Year after averaging 22 points, 5.5 rebounds, more than 3 assists and nearly 2 steals per game. He led the Razorbacks to a 20-12 record. He was also named to the All-SEC First Team and was the only player in the conference to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
The Sixers drafted Jones’ Arkansas teammate Isaiah Joe late in the second round of the 2020 NBA draft. The signing brings the teammates back together.
Sources told The Painted Lines that Daryl Morey had been interested in Jones during the 2020 NBA draft process. That interest resurfaced when Jones was waived by the Rockets in early March. Jones signed a ten-day contract with the Rockets on March 12th. It appears Morey acted as quickly as he could after the ten-day deal expired on March 22nd.
Where The Roster Stands
Positional optionality is something that the Sixers value dearly. Reed will provide that versatility at the four and five for seasons to come. Jones offers wing depth and credible three-point shooting to space the floor. Both players represent young, cost-efficient depth that the Sixers can groom into valuable assets.
After yesterday’s trade for George Hill, the Sixers’ roster netted out to one fewer player than it carried prior to the trade. With Reed converted and Jones signed, my understanding is that the roster now sits virtually in the same spot it was in before the trade–that is, 15 official NBA players and 2 two-way players. In other words, if they plan on adding anyone else (I anticipate they will), they’ll have to waive someone.