As Philadelphia 76ers land ex-Miami Heat star Caleb Martin, Paul Reed’s uncertain future breaks Internet’s heart

The Philadephia 76ers are giving it all to make their offseason plans take off with flying colours. In the latest behind-the-scenes shakeup going on in the NBA before the players hit the court, the Sixers have reportedly landed Caleb Martin.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – APRIL 27: Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat drives against Sam Hauser #30 of the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in game three of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Kaseya Center on April 27, 2024 in Miami, Florida.(Getty Images via AFP / Megan Briggs)

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Martin, a free agent who has thus far served as a playoff-tested veteran for the Miami Heat, has finalised a deal with the Sixers. However, the good news doesn’t come without its share of heartbreak.

The Philadelphia squad will waive backup center Paul Reed to free up space for Martin on their roster. This change-up was already clear with the team moving in with the new Sixer Andre Drummond.

Martin, who dedicated three seasons with the Heat, is not only a well-tested power forward but also an indomitable defender on the court. He has now reportedly committed to the 76ers game plan for a four-year deal that surpasses $32 million.

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Joining the free agent class, including recent Sixers introductions Paul George, Eric Gordon and Andre Drummond, Martin is expected to step in as the team’s starting power forward.

Reactions to the Caleb Martin-Paul Reed switch-up

However, as Martin purportedly celebrates a new beginning, Bball Paul’s non-guaranteed contract for the upcoming NBA season has left fans brokenhearted.

Regardless of what has come each player’s way, fans couldn’t ignore the possibility of Martin’s agent “fumbling” hard. According to Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, “Martin turned down 5 years 65 M from Heat, and then a week later settled for what ESPN said is 4 years topping 32 M from 76ers. Martin rep thought Heat offer wasn’t good enough, which dumbfounded Heat.”

The sports reporter also relayed on X/Twitter, “This Heat/Martin negotiation last weekend was quite (shall we say) intense, per 2 sources. Martin camp thought Heat was trying to force him to take what Martin rep thought was below market deal and made that clear. Heat thought this was very good offer (it was) and made that very clear.”

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Adam Aaronson, who writes for the PhillyVoice, tweeted on X/Twitter, “I am bummed for BBall Paul, who was the victim of circumstance this week and I think gets more criticism than is deserved. All of the jokes aside, he is a very good dude who was a pleasure to chat with every now and then. Again, I think someone smart will sign him soon.”

Keith Pompey, Sixers beat writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, also tweeted, “While it totally makes sense, it’s sad to see Paul Reed being waived by the Sixers to create space.

He was a pleasure to cover the last four seasons and will be missed by the Philly media. But you knew this was a possibility when the Sixers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. That loss led to his contact being non-guaranteed for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 season. And you realized his time was up when they drafted Adem Bona in the second round and acquired Andre Drummond in free agency.”

Meanwhile, others pointed out that the decision followed as a consequence of the league’s result-oriented tendencies. Despite the finality of Reed’s Sixers chapter for the time being, the fan community continued to cheer on his accomplishments, praising the “Mudman” for his “GOAT” qualities.

“Thank you @Bball_paul. Never forget his 30 point game against Denver when Embiid was out,” an X user wrote online.

Someone else commented, “Although Bball Paul had a rough playoffs last year, I’ll always support and appreciate him for his time here.”

@mrcrockpot wrote, “Remember the time Paul Reed locked up Giannis and never saw the court again? Good times, you’ll be missed Bball Paul.”

Yet another fan cheered, “You really made it out the mud @Bball_paul. We’re so proud and we’ll miss you.”

On the other side of X, the basketball community couldn’t stop raving about welcoming Martin to the Sixers, “We got the Celtics Killer. WELCOME TO PHILLY CALEB MARTIN.”

“Caleb Martin had one of the best role player performances in a playoff series I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the memories Caleb,” someone else wrote.

According to ESPN stats, the 28-year-old ex-Heat wing especially went all out against the Boston Celtics over the past two years, averaging 13.6 points on 50% shooting in the regular season and playoffs.

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