The Next Step: Isaiah Joe
Home grown shooters have been few and far between when it comes to the Sixers and the draft process. You would have to go back to the early 2000s to find the likes of Kyle Korver and Lou Williams (both 2nd round picks) to find a pure shooting role player that the Sixers have selected through the draft process, and actually panned out in the NBA.
More recently, it was the 26th pick in the 2016 draft Furkan Korkmaz who had a breakthrough 2020-2021 campaign which could very well earn him a big time pay day. A decision that is hanging in the balance for the Sixers on whether or not to pay their Turkish delight, and could lead to the 49th pick in the 2020 draft, Isaiah Joe bursting onto the scene in 2021.
Below, we’ll review the best and worst case scenarios for the 22 year old former Razorback as he heads into his sophomore season.
Just Furkan go, We want Joe
There is a very real possibility that Korkmaz is offered $12 million per year this offseason by a team not named the Sixers, and that’s just the market for a 3 and “somewhat D” player in today’s NBA. The question that Daryl Morey and the rest of the Sixers front office will be considering, is can Isaiah Joe give them at least 75% of the production that you’d be losing from Korkmaz. If you can hear me Daryl, the answer is “YES”! Despite all of the memories, including the game winning buzzer beater vs Portland, I just can’t come around to ponying up $9-12 million per year for Korkmaz, even with all the puns that he allows us to use on social media.
Turning the page to Joe brings a lot of excitement and there’s a lot to love, especially his ability to let it fly from three point land. Although we will no longer hear “Isaiah Joe with a healthy three” due to the great Marc Zumoff’s recent retirement, they should still come a plenty with more volume. Joe saw action in 41 games this season, and shot 36.8% from deep on 106 attempts. His frame could use some bulking, but with a full summer of off-season workouts, a healthy round of summer league action and training camp/pre-season play, Sixers fans should be looking forward to a healthy cup of Joe all season long.
This Joe’s not strong enough:
Similar to the situation with Paul Reed, another year learning the ropes and swinging between the Blue Coats and Sixers wouldn’t be the end of the world. Solely based on the nature of Joe’s style of play, a wiry wing who is not afraid to let it fly, has fans salivating and wanting more. However, he didn’t quite start to turn on until the end of the season, averaging 23.3 PT while shooting 39.6% from three on 12 attempts per game during the G-League playoffs. Handling his growth with the college football mindset, another year in program to put on weight and receive reps in the G-league, sprinkled with some NBA game minutes would do wonders for his growth… while also allowing the Sixers to see what they truly have in the young sharpshooter.
Plus, there are some MLE and trade exception players that the Sixers could bring in that would put a halt to any increased Joe minutes. Options such as Otto Porter, Wayne Ellingon, Justise Winslow and Reggie Bullock would all most certainly soak up any lost minutes from Korkmaz and/or Danny Green.
Say it ain’t Joe:
Going to be admittedly biased here again and say this will not happen, but I guess there is a world where Joe is unable to compete at the NBA level on a consistent basis and unable to get separation from top wing defenders. I could also take you to a world where Joe simply forgets how to shoot (just kidding), we’ve never seen that before. In all honesty, for a guy who shot nearly 39% from three during his two years at Arkansas, and nearly replicated those numbers during his first NBA season between both NBA and G-League play, I think this fanbase will be frantically trying to come up with a nickname as he’ll be a mainstay in Doc’s rotation.
Check out the other articles from this series here: