Sixers’ Isaiah Joe deserves a chance to crack the rotation

Philadelphia 76ers
Memphis Grizzlies forward Santi Aldama (7) drives between Philadelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed Jr. (44) and guard Isaiah Joe (7) during the first quarter of an NBA summer league basketball game Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)

Isaiah Joe has been one of the most interesting young players on the Philadelphia 76ers for the past few years. Despite solid shooting and flashes of the player, he could be, Joe has yet to establish himself in the Sixers’ rotation. With his incredible play in the Summer League, however, Joe might have proven once again that he deserves a larger chance to prove himself in the regular season.

In three games this Summer League, Isaiah Joe led the Sixers’ Summer League in points per game with 13.7 points per game, despite playing only the 6th highest minutes per game at 21.0 while shooting 50.0% from the field and 60.0% from three. Joe also led the Sixers Summer League team in steals per game with 2.3 per game. He played at an incredible level and quickly proved that he belonged in the NBA once again. The question still remains, though, when will he become a regular in the rotation?

Since being drafted 49th overall in the 2020 NBA draft, Isaiah Joe has played 96 games but has yet to establish himself as a member of the main rotation. Joe has stayed with the team because of his abilities and potential. In college, he was an elite and high-volume three-point shooter. Over his two years with the Arkansas Razorbacks, the star guard averaged 9.1 three-pointers attempted per game, making 3.5 per game for a three-point percentage of 37.8, averaging 15.2 points. So far in his 76ers career, Joe is averaging only 3.7 points per game on lower percentages, shooting 33.3 percent from deep.

Joe stays with the 76ers because of the flashes of potential that he has. The shooting guard has had some great games when he’s given the opportunity. In January 2022, Isaiah Joe got to play above 10 minutes in nine games. His stats during the January games where he played more than 10 minutes were significant improvements for Joe, having him average 7.7 points on 43.4% from the field and 38.1% from the field. Joe has shown that he can be a fantastic roleplayer for the Sixers, one that fits the ideals of Moreyball extremely well. He just needs the chance to prove himself.

Hopefully, that chance will come this year in the form of a regular bench role for the Sixers. Finding space for him could be tricky with newcomer De’Anthony Melton and other 3&D additions Danuel House and P.J. Tucker joining in free agency, but any team built by Daryl Morey will always have available time for three-point snipers, and Joe is one of the best shooters on the 76ers roster.

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