NBA Free Agency: Paul Reed Signs Offer Sheet From Jazz, Sixers Have Right to Match

Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The moment all of Philadelphia was dreading finally arrived. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Paul Reed signed a 3-year, $23 million offer sheet with the Utah Jazz.

Reed is a restricted free agent, which gives the Philadelphia 76ers the right to match Utah’s offer sheet if they so desire. The Sixers will reportedly have until 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday to decide if they are going to match the offer sheet.

Utah’s offer sheet, according to Wojnarowski, comes with a few unique twists:

One term of the offer sheet contains a unique twist: The first season of the contract is fully guaranteed, while the following two seasons become guaranteed if Reed’s team advances to the conference semifinals in 2023-24, sources said. Given where the two franchises stand, it is more likely the Sixers would have to guarantee the $15.7 million total for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons than the Jazz.

If the 76ers match the offer sheet, they would exceed the $165 million luxury tax threshold and incur an additional $14 million in luxury tax penalties. Reed would have veto power on trades for a year if he remains in Philadelphia.

While the offer sheet on its face is for roughly $8 million per season, the above stipulations are designed to make the Sixers’ decision on whether to match it more difficult. If the Sixers matched Utah’s offer sheet, they would be pushed into the luxury tax. However, the team currently sits just $1.452 million below the luxury tax line with only 12 players on the roster. Even if the Sixers used just veteran minimum contracts to fill out the remainder of the roster, that would still result in them exceeding the luxury tax.

In addition, the offer sheet is essentially for just one season for the Jazz since they are in the midst of a rebuild. Making the second and third years of the contract guaranteed if Reed’s team makes it past the first round of the playoffs in 2023-24, something the Sixers are expected to do, would result in the offer being a full three years if the Sixers matched.

All of those quirks make it more painful for the Sixers to match the offer sheet. However, they ultimately should not prove to be enough to warrant letting Reed go. Reed, by the end of last season, established himself as the team’s primary backup center. Over the final 22 games of last season, he averaged 6.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1 block per game. His success carried over into the postseason. In two postseason starts, he averaged 10 points, 14 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block per game.

This all leads to one overarching question: Do the Sixers actually want to match Utah’s offer sheet? The team signed backup big men Mo Bamba and Montrezl Harrell in recent days. Those signings would lead one to question what the team’s plan is regarding Reed’s future. However, multiple reports indicated the team never strayed away from their desire to keep Reed in Philadelphia. Reed is undoubtedly more talented than either Bamba and Harrell. He should without question be re-signed.

The Sixers elected to take a wait-and-see approach. They allowed Reed to test the market while simultaneously maintaining their desire to re-sign him. Now that there has been an offer sheet, the only thing left to do is to put their money where their mouth is and match Utah’s offer. Sixers fans will be on the edge of their seats awaiting the team’s decision.