Isaiah Joe wants to learn.
That’s the 76ers rookie’s No. 1 goal. The shooting guard from Arkansas is determined to soak in as much information as he can from veteran teammates and coaches.
“As much as I can learn right off the bat, that’s going to be the better,” said Joe, the 49th overall pick in the Nov. 18 NBA draft. “Build the chemistry. Bond with the teammates. Assert myself on the court. ... I’m just looking forward to getting out on the court with the guys.”
He’s in the right spot to not just learn from veterans, but learn from veterans with a similar skill set. The Sixers added Seth Curry and Danny Green to a group of sharpshooters that includes Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, and Tobias Harris. Ryan Broekhoff and Dakota Mathias, two more elite shooters, joined the team on a non-guaranteed deal and a two-way contract, respectively.
New head coach Doc Rivers usually doesn’t rely heavily on rookies. One would assume it wouldn’t be any different this season with the season opener against the Washington Wizards (Dec. 23) being less than three weeks away.
But the Sixers feel like Joe is one of the steals of the draft.
At Arkansas, he was the Southeastern Conference’s top three-point shooter the last two seasons in both shots made (207) and attempts (548). The 21-year-old was one of the nation’s top volume three-point-shooters with 3.45 made and 9.13 attempts per game for the Razorbacks.
Joe shot 44% from beyond the NBA three-point distance this past season.
He missed six games because of arthroscopic right knee surgery and was limited in five more before the surgery, which could have led to him not getting drafted until mid-second round. In 26 games, Joe averaged 16.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists and shot 34.2% on three-pointers. Playing with the injury affected his three-point shooting, but he made 41.4% of his threes as a freshman, and he’s healthy now.
“You know with the draft and everything, a lot of things are unpredictable when I went through the draft process,” Joe said. “But I’m not the one to make excuses or anything about my knee or things like that. Teams see me where they see me.
“I’m just fortunate to have the opportunity to be picked at 49th with the 76ers. So now it’s just about making the most of my opportunity.”