Draft prospect Austin Reaves talks workout with Sixers, fit with stars

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The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the more interesting teams to look at in the 2021 offseason as they move forward on their title quest. They were the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, but they came up short in Round 2 when they fell to the Atlanta Hawks in five games.

While the Sixers did come up short of their goals of a championship, they also had a terrific season out on the floor led by their star duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Now, the goal for president Daryl Morey is to continue to tool around the two of them moving forward.

As the 2021 NBA draft continues to approach, the Sixers have two picks they can utilize to add to their roster, Nos. 28 and 50. One of those prospects who could help right away is Oklahoma guard Austin Reaves who averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists with the Sooners. He already worked out with Philadelphia and he discussed with Sixers Wire how his workout went.

“I talked to a couple of front office guys in just an interview type of thing,” said Reaves. “They really just wanted to just get to know me. They’ve seen me play multiple times, and things like that so it was really just more of just them wanting to get to know me, basically.”

The front office always does their homework on the draft prospects so these pre-draft workouts are more to get to know the players personally and what they can bring to the table. Reaves brings exactly what Philadelphia needs and that is shot creation as well as shooting. That will fit perfectly next to Embiid and Simmons.

“They’ve been looking for a shot creator and someone who can create for himself and create for others,” said Reaves. “Looking back at Oklahoma, that was kind of my role, but I’m realistic with myself. I know Joel and Ben’s gonna have the ball in their hands the majority of the time, but just being able to play on the second side with them, and really just make shots on the second side of Joel. I feel like it’ll be a really good fit.”

In two seasons at Wichita State, he shot 45.1% from deep, mostly on catch and shoot opportunities. At Oklahoma, the role changed as he had to create his own shot much more often and be the offensive hub for the Sooners and his 3-point percentage dropped as it was at 30.5% as a senior.

“When I was at Wichita, I was mainly just a catch and shoot shooter and I shot, I mean probably 95% of my shots were like I said catch and shoot,” Reaves explained. “Then going with Oklahoma with a role change, I was taking a lot of off dribble 3s. Probably had one of the lowest catch-and-shoot opportunities for 3s, probably in the nation, to be honest, so I feel like that played a role in it, but that’s not a good excuse. I just need to make the shots that I take.”

Then, specifically, there is his fit next to a guy like Simmons. Despite the criticisms, Simmons is an elite passer and a guy who makes his teammates better on a nightly basis. He is one of the top players in the league in assists to 3-point shots and Reaves would have the opportunity to thrive playing next to a guy like Simmons who at 6-foot-10, makes the game easier for everybody.

“He’s a freak of nature,” Reaves beamed on Simmons. “He’s a really good athlete and someone that can handle the ball really well and make plays so you don’t see too many guys like him.”

Another thing Reaves would be able to have in common with Simmons, as well as Seth Curry, is their love for video games. The young man has an interest in the popular video game Call of Duty: Warzone which is a game that both Simmons and Curry play often.

“If I could play it all day, I’d be on it all day!” Reaves laughed. “I kind of gotta be a little bit more productive than that though, but Warzone is definitely a really fun game.”

Obviously, there is no guarantee if Reaves will be there at 50, but if he is there, he would be a great fit for the Sixers. His ability to put the ball on the floor as well as be able to knock down catch and shoot jumpers will make him a very valuable piece to the Sixers moving forward.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!