Sixers match Jazz offer sheet, keep Paul Reed
A certain fan-favorite big man is staying in Philadelphia.
The Sixers matched the offer sheet that restricted free agent Paul Reed signed with the Utah Jazz on Saturday morning, the team announced less than two hours ahead of the midnight deadline on Sunday.
If fully guaranteed, the deal will pay Reed $23 million over three years. Only the first year is guaranteed, the final two years and $15.7 million of the deal guaranteeing if Philadelphia reaches the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2024.
The Sixers will now roster four players capable of playing center, one of whom figures to play 34-38 minutes per game in Joel Embiid. Such a roster configuration is unnecessary, although not an unfamiliar situation for the Sixers.
By the end of last season, Embiid, Reed, Montrezl Harrell, and Dewayne Dedmon staffed the center position for Philadelphia. Going into the 2023-24 season, the Sixers will have Embiid, Reed, Mo Bamba, and Harrell manning the middle.
Reed figures to be the favorite to play the lion's share of the minutes behind Embiid, solidifying himself as a trustworthy presence capable of keeping the Sixers afloat in the minutes during which the franchise superstar wasn't available in the 2023 playoffs.
Besides blossoming into a reliable screen-and-dive roll man next to James Harden in the pick-and-roll, Reed also had moments in which he read the floor well as a playmaker in the paint.
On the other end of the floor, Reed's athleticism and mobility allow the Sixers to feel comfortable switching across positions. While he certainly has the vertical pop to be a rim-protector, Reed can also guard smaller players on the perimeter - a major asset in the modern NBA.
"I think as part of my job, I have to look at the bigger picture, and we have a lot of guys we're going to re-sign. The moves we did both improve the team now and make it easier to keep this team together going forward," Daryl Morey said after trading for now-former Sixers wing Jalen McDaniels at the 2023 deadline.
While the Sixers didn't retain key regular-season rotation pieces like McDaniels or Niang, they secured perhaps their most important free agent.
The Sixers are now approximately $6.5 million over the luxury tax threshold for 2023-24 and roughly just $500K below the first tax apron.
While the non-taxpayer mid-level exception of $12,405,000 is out of the question, the Sixers have the $5 million taxpayer mid-level exception and veteran minimum contracts at their disposal to fill their last two roster spots. Philadelphia has just under $11 million of space below the second tax apron of $182,500,000 in team salary.
Should the Sixers decide to use that taxpayer mid-level exception at any point in the league year, that second tax apron becomes a hard cap that they cannot breach under any circumstance until the next league year begins.