Isaiah Joe: First Impressions
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Isaiah Joe in the second round Wednesday night. Joe is a 6'5" shooting guard known for effortless form and limitless range. Isaiah played two seasons at Arkansas, where he scored just under 17 points per game as a sophomore. Thursday morning he met with the media in Philadelphia.
Initial thoughts might be that Joe is a player who might need a development year in the G-League before he's ready to contribute. After Midnight Wednesday night, Daryl Morey said rookies usually take at least a year before they can contribute. But Joe seemed to indicate he feels he's ready to help space the floor for Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid right now.
Joe says the Sixers have no plans to send him to Delaware, but he embraces the opportunity to work on Delaware's game with consistent minutes. " I want to be the best shooter on the court all the time". He acknowledged that the best way to improve your game is by playing in games, and that might need to happen with the Blue Coats initially.
Discussing the fit, Joe was particular and displayed a strong command of the tactical language of the game. Joe said he could "come there for any kick-outs that he [Simmons] needs whenever he got in the lanes, and then you know if he drives on my side I may be occupying a defender who is a nice line to the basket. Same for Joel Embiid, you know, it kind of opens up a lane for him. As I'm out there now I'm at, my man helps, the inside out game will work because Joel is a very skilled player, he can score around the basket as mid-range, and he's, you know, he can pass so I feel like our games are just complimenting each other in a great way.
So Isaiah has an apparent picture of his role and the needs of this team, but before he can really provide that, he knows he needs to work on a couple of areas physically. Joe said he is "continuing working on my body, getting bigger and stronger." He continued, "That's something I've really been hitting on this summer and making great strides towards my goals so I'm just going to continue to do that".
While Isaiah Joe isn't exactly a can't miss prospect, Daryl Morey was adamant after the draft that Joe was "not a good shooter, a great shooter". If he can prove himself on the defensive end of the floor, he is the archetype of exactly the kind of player the Sixers want to surround their stars with.