Sixers assign rookie Isaiah Joe to join Delaware Blue Coats in G League bubble
Sixers assign rookie to play in Disney World, which originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The G-League subsidiary of Sixers, the Delaware Blue Coats, have lost four games after a 7-0 start. They will soon be joined by Sixers rookie Isaiah Joe, who should have the chance to play significant minutes that he is currently not getting in the NBA.
The team announced on Sunday morning that Joe, the 49th choice in this year's draft, has been assigned to the Blue Coats and will join Delaware in the G League bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Just a week ago, head coach Doc Rivers went over Furkan Korkmaz with Joe and said the 6-foot-4 wing would get a "glimpse" of the Sixers' rotation.
"He's playing well," said Rivers. "I thought defensively, he was absolutely fantastic and that's what we need. This is not football. You have to be a basketball player and you play both offensively and defensively. I thought he did that tonight."
However, the rivers' plans quickly changed. Seth Curry suffered a sprain in his left ankle the next Sixers game, and Korkmaz started in his place. He briefly found the rhythm he was looking for this season, scoring 16 points against the Raptors in the first quarter. Korkmaz was again the spot starter on Sunday evening and replaced the injured Tobias Harris. Joe didn't play at all, although after the game Rivers admitted that he was looking for "just someone with speed or pace or someone who would play hard". Instead, Tyrese Maxey joined the rotation in the second half.
Before the season started, Joe was asked about this particular scenario. He appreciated learning from the Sixers veterans, but prefers to play.
"Yeah, I've thought about it a lot, but the 76ers as a team had a lot of contact," he said. "They are ready to give me a chance. Nothing is given so I have to go in there and work my dick off, hit the next man. This is a team that has no G League ambitions for me.
"But if it comes down to it, I'd rather play in the G League. I think that's how you get your game better; you don't get your game better when you're on the bench. That will be a way." that I can improve my game and hopefully be promoted to the next level. But the 76s, like I said earlier, feel like it will fit nicely because they really emphasize the need for shooters. "
Of course, Joe's assignment to the G League does not mean that he is permanently excluded from the Sixers rotation. All it means is that, barring an emergency, he is unlikely to be in the team's last two games before the All-Star break. The Blue Coats have four more regular season games, the first of which is Monday afternoon against G League Ignite.
As the praise from Rivers suggests last week, this assignment isn't a sign that the Sixers are unhappy with Joe's progress. He has done well as a rookie in difficult situations, including a four-game stretch in January where he shot 14 of 28 out of three-point range for the Shorthanded Sixers.
The initial decision to use him through Korkmaz also made sense, given Joe's high-profile defense efforts and solid understanding of the scheme and role. For now, however, the Sixers seem to be leaning on Korkmaz's greater experience and ability to score points in bursts on occasion. As we saw recently, there's another good chance that won't last forever.
Joe should be back in the NBA soon. For now, he'll have the opportunity to fly Springer like he did at the University of Arkansas.
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