Waived Sixers Role Player Picked Up By Tanking East Team

Former folk hero Philadelphia 76ers backup center Paul Reed has been picked up off waivers by the rebuilding Detroit Pistons, the team confirmed. The Athletic’s Shams Charania was the first to report the news.

Reed, nicknamed “B-Ball Paul” by fans, had been a raw deep-bench reserve for 76ers center Joel Embiid since he was drafted out of DePaul by a prior front office administration in 2020. In 2023-24, the 6-foot-9 big man finally graduated into a role as Embiid’s primary backup.

While playing all 82 games for the team (and starting 24 as Embiid recovered from a knee injury), Reed averaged career highs of 7.3 points (on a .540/.368/.718 slash line), 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 blocks and 0.8 steals per game. His 19.4 minutes per game average almost doubled his previous career high (10.9 minutes) from the season prior.

Paul Reed Philadelphia 76ers
Paul Reed #44 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks against the Toronto Raptors during the second half of their basketball game at the Scotiabank Arena on March 31, 2024 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Reed has been…

Mark Blinch/Getty Images

This offseason, the revitalized Sixers brought back former Chicago Bulls rebounding machine Andre Drummond, a former two-time All-Star, on a two-year, $10 million free agent contract. Reed had become expendable, as he would have been the third center behind Drummond, a veteran big man who posted an insane per-36 minutes rebounding rate of 18.9 boards (in actuality, the 30-year-old averaged 9.0 rebounds in just 17.1 minutes a game).

The Sixers had to cut Reed, who would have been heading into the second year of a three-season, $23.6 million deal in 2024-25, to accommodate a new contract for free agent Caleb Williams, a 3-and-D former Miami Heat small forward. The 6-foot-5 Williams inked a four-season, $32 million contract with Philadelphia with incentives that could make the deal worth up to $40 million, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Prior to even hitting free agency (he declined a $7.1 million player option for next year with Miami), Martin had ultimately decided to reject a four-year contract extension offer worth $58 million by the Heat. Martin clearly valued the championship upside of a Sixers core featuring Embiid, nine-time All-Star combo forward Paul George, and All-Star point guard Tyrese Maxey, to the point where he was willing to take a bit of a pay cut.

Currently, Reed’s $7.7 million salary for the 2024-25 season is non-guaranteed until January, meaning he could potentially be floated as a potential cap-relief trade asset. Reed does still have some raw potential, and could also just be retained as the key reserve behind Detroit big man Jalen Duren, a 2022 lottery pick.

Reed, 25, becomes the latest veteran to join a lowly Pistons squad hoping to forget a miserable 14-68 season in 2024-25. He joins another former Sixer, power forward Tobias Harris, and ex-Dallas Mavericks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr.

Detroit also selected former G League Ignite wing Ron Holland with the fifth pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.