The 6’5 sniper coming out of Arkansas recently took to the stage at the Sixers training facility to address the media for the first time. While there is still much that he needs to improve on, Isaiah Joe will come in looking to be an impact shooter right away. The 16.1 points and 34.6% he shot on 10.6 attempts per game he averaged in college sets the bar fairly high for him. Joe seems to have a solid head on his shoulders and the right mindset as he prepares for the grind of an NBA season as a rookie.
Joe began the interview by stating that “this season is all about learning.” He preached the importance of building a bond with his new teammates and has already begun this by reaching out to veterans such as Danny Green and Seth Curry. Isaiah called this pair “great players and great people.” While he talked about the importance of working hard and being the first guy in and the last guy out to workout, he also mentioned topics like money management that he has learned from them.
Promises Made, Promises Delivered
There were many rumors connecting Joe to the Sixers throughout the draft process. While the fit of Joe has always been there, as the team continued to collect its arsenal of knock-down shooters it was a great sign to see the Sixers change their plan as Tyrese Maxey fell down draft boards and trade opportunities came around. This seemingly made it unlikely for Joe to make his way to the Sixers, but he still managed to be on the board late in the second round, giving the Sixers a chance to draft him with the 49th pick.
I asked Joe what his contact with the Sixers was like throughout the draft process and he seemed to have confidence that Philadelphia was going to end up his new home. Joe spoke to Elton Brand directly during the draft process and had contact with the Sixers several times. Whether or not a true “promise” was given to him being drafted, both sides should be happy that the match was made.
Joe is Here to Shoot
While criticisms of his skinny frame and concerns over the knee injury that required surgery and ended his season last year may be there, Joe was taken to shoot the basketball. Joe is not afraid to pull the trigger and has flashed NBA range already in his time in college. He shoots off screens, moves without the ball to get open, can create his own shot, and is ready to pull the trigger with just the smallest amount of space.
The Sixers signed Isaiah Joe to a three-year deal with the first two years fully guaranteed. This is not a common occurrence for second-round picks and he was given this deal before even stepping foot in the training facility. This shows the faith the Sixers have in Joe and while he was careful about the words he chose, it seems evident that Isaiah Joe is ready for the challenge as well. The Sixers have been desperate for floor-spacing shooters for so long, but Joe will now have to compete amongst guys like Seth Curry, Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz, and Tyrese Maxey for playing time. Regardless, Joe will get his chances this year and hopefully, he develops into the deadeye that the Sixers seem to expect.
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire