Could Paul Reed actually become the next Pascal Siakam?

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Philadelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed (44) shoots over Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during the first half of Game 1 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Monday, May 1, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In his short career, Paul Reed has been many things for the Philadelphia 76ers. He has won a G-League MVP. He has given bursts of energy off of the bench. Most recently, he made the jump to the primary backup center role behind superstar and reigning MVP Joel Embiid. Just last season, BBall Paul set career highs in games played (69), minutes per game (10.9), points (4.0), blocks (0.7), and rebounds (3.8).

This all-around growth led the 76ers to match Paul Reed’s qualifying offer this off-season. However, with Reed’s new contract, and new head coach Nick Nurse, many have talked about if Paul Reed could be the next Pascal Siakam. Nurse even talked to Reed about turning the 6’9” big man into the next Pascal Siakam.

Similarities Between Reed and Siakam

Now, Paul Reed probably isn’t going to make a jump next season into a prime Pascal Siakam, but the comparisons between Reed’s last season, the first season he truly got to be part of the rotation, and Siakam’s rookie season are eerily similar. Pascal was 22 in his rookie year. Reed is 23 now. They’re both 6’9”.

In Siakam’s rookie year, he averaged 4.2 points per game. Reed averaged 4.2 points per game last season. Siakam averaged 3.4 rebounds per game. Reed averaged 3.8 rebounds per game. Siakam averaged 0.8 blocks per game, while Reed averaged 0.7. Siakam was one for seven from three in his rookie year. Reed was one for six last year. Siakam actually got to play 15.6 minutes per game in his rookie year. Reed, despite all he showed last year, only got to play 10.9 minutes per game. The similarities go on and on.

Paul Reed
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) drives past Philadelphia 76ers forward Danuel House Jr. (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Paul Reed has been significantly better than anyone could have ever predicted when he was drafted. The big man could look to have a jump similar to Siakam’s second season with the addition of Nick Nurse as head coach. If Reed receives the solidified rotational role that he deserves, he realistically could break into double-digit scoring and even rebounding.

While the expectations are extremely high, it is clear that Paul Reed is up to him. Reed came into the NBA as the 58th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and has continuously bucked trends ever since. He lit up the G League, fought his way into the rotation, and has risen out of the mud onto a brand new, shiny, 3-year, 23 million dollar deal. Reed will continue to hone his craft in the upcoming season and very well may be one of the most important players to the Philadelphia 76ers’ success this upcoming season.