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

The Philadelphia 76ers are doing everything they can to make their offseason plans a success. In the latest behind-the-scenes shakeup going on in the NBA before the players hit the court, the Sixers have reportedly signed Caleb Martin.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – APRIL 27: Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat plays 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 served as a playoff-tested veteran for the Miami Heat up until now, has finalized a deal with the Sixers. The good news doesn’t come without some heartache, however.

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Philadelphia will be releasing backup center Paul Reed to make room for Martin on their roster. This change was already apparent when the team brought in new Sixer Andre Drummond.

Martin, who spent three seasons with the Heat, is not only a proven power forward but also an indomitable defender on the court. He has now reportedly committed to the 76ers’ game plan for a four-year contract worth more than $32 million.

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Martin is expected to assume the role of the team’s starting power forward, joining the free agent group that also includes recently introduced Sixers players Paul George, Eric Gordon and Andre Drummond.

Reactions to the Caleb Martin-Paul Reed Switch

While Martin is reportedly celebrating a new beginning, Bball Paul’s non-guaranteed contract for the upcoming NBA season has left fans heartbroken.

Regardless of what came each player’s way, fans couldn’t ignore the possibility that Martin’s agent would “fumble” hard. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, “Martin turned down 5 years and $65 million from the Heat, then a week later accepted what ESPN said was 4 years and $32 million from the 76ers. Martin’s rep didn’t think the Heat’s offer was good enough, which stunned the Heat.”

The sportscaster also reported on X/Twitter: “This Heat/Martin negotiation this past weekend was pretty (let’s say) intense, according to 2 sources. The Martin camp believed Heat was trying to force him into accepting a deal that Martin’s rep said was below market and he made that clear. Heat felt this was a very good offer (it was) and made that very clear.”

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Adam Aaronson, writing for PhillyVoice, tweeted on X/Twitter: “I feel bad for BBall Paul, who was a victim of circumstance this week and I think he’s getting more flak than he deserves. Jokes aside, he’s a really good guy who was nice to chat with from time to time. Again, I think someone smart will sign him soon.”

Keith Pompey, Sixers reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, also tweeted: “While it makes perfect sense, it’s still sad to see Paul Reed being traded by the Sixers to create space.

It was a pleasure covering him the last four seasons and he will be missed by the Philly media. But you knew it was a possibility when the Sixers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. That loss resulted in his contract being non-guaranteed for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons. And you knew his time was up when they drafted Adem Bona in the second round and signed Andre Drummond in free agency.”

Meanwhile, others pointed out that the decision was a result of the league’s results-oriented tendencies. Despite Reed’s definitive Sixers chapter for the time being, the fan community continued to applaud his performance and praise 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 noted: “Even though Bball Paul had a tough playoffs last year, I will always support him and appreciate his time here.”

@mrcrockpot wrote: “Remember when Paul Reed locked Giannis up and never got back on the court? Good times, you will be missed Bball Paul.”

Yet another fan cheered: “You really made it out of the mud @Bball_paul. We are so proud and we will miss you.”

On the other side of X, the basketball community couldn’t stop raving about Martin’s welcome to the Sixers: “We have 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 former Heat winger has been on a roll 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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