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Paul Reed to join Detroit Pistons off waivers

Posted on July 10, 2024

Paul Reed was reportedly claimed off waivers by the Detroit Pistons, who earlier this offseason paid big money for another former Sixer in Tobias Harris.

The big man nicknamed “B-Ball Paul,” former Sixer Paul Reed, is reportedly bound for the Detroit Pistons. The news came from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium on X:

The Detroit Pistons are claiming F/C Paul Reed off free agency waivers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Reed is in the second season of a three-year, $24 million deal, and now BBall Paul joins Detroit.

The former 2020 No. 58 overall pick who once famously self-declared himself “out the mud,” will join fellow former Sixer Tobias Harris in Detroit.

Reed was named 2021 NBA G League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year with the Delaware Blue Coats, earning a full-time roster spot on the Sixers, along with the respect and admiration of Philly fans.

While former head coach Doc Rivers seemingly would have preferred to play Glen “Big Baby” Davis over B-Ball (just kidding — but Doc would infuriatingly opt for washed names like Paul Millsap and DeAndre Jordan over Reed, much to the ubiquitous chagrin of fans and media members), the Orlando native eventually won the Joel Embiid backup role.

When Embiid missed a closeout Game 4 vs. the Brooklyn Nets back in 2023, Reed delivered a clutch performance, finishing with a 10-point, 15-rebound double-double in the sweep.

The very next game, Reed’s most memorable moments for me came when he helped an Embiid-less Sixers’ group steal Game 1 from the Boston Celtics during the second round of the 2022-2023 playoffs.

B-Ball demonstrated some ice water in his veins by calmly drilling four straight free throws to help a James Harden-led group shock the Celtics and steal home court while Joel recovered from injury.

Reed finished that contest with another crucial 10 points and 13 boards.

Following those performances, last offseason, Utah’s top exec Danny Ainge made a play for B-Ball Paul, who played his college ball at DePaul (too fun not to write that). But the Sixers would ultimately match a strategically funky offer Ainge concocted for the then 2023 restricted free agent.

Reed’s 2024-2025 salary would only become guaranteed if-and-only-if his 2023-2024 team made it out of the first round. So when the New York Knicks defeated a hobbled Sixers’ group this past spring, Philadelphia opted not to retain Reed’s services.

But since the Pistons claimed him off waivers, Reed gets his remaining salary. So it’s kind of a win-win-win here. The Pistons (a non-threat in the East) get a likable player with athleticism, talent and a bit of upside. Reed gets his money after all. And the Sixers received the extra cap space to pursue bigger fish like Paul George and Caleb Martin.

In Philly, Andre Drummond’s signing spelled the end of the Reed era for many fans doing the math at home. And this Pistons’ transaction makes it official.

There had been some rumors that Reed might land with a rival like the New York Knicks (having lost Isaiah Hartenstein to the Oklahoma City Thunder). So this allows Sixers’ fans to comfortably continue to root for “B-Ball” from afar.

Reed and Tobias Harris (the latter of whom the Pistons paid $52M for on a two-year deal lol) will remain teammates and now face the Sixers a few times a year as East “rivals.” Thanks for the memories, Paul. You’ll always hold a place in Philly fans’ hearts.