Don’t Sleep on Reed: Miami Heat Big Man Willie Reed

NBA D-League / Youtube

NBA D-League / Youtube

Don’t Sleep on Reed: Miami Heat Big Man Willie Reed

 

From remaining Undrafted, to playing overseas, to becoming a star in the D-League. Newly acquired Miami Heat center Willie Reed started from the bottom and overcame numerous obstacles through hard work and dedication to fulfill his dream of playing in the NBA. More than four years after going undrafted in 2011, the 6’10” power forward would make his long awaited debut for the Brooklyn Nets on December 4, 2015.

Reed thought the 2015-16 season would be his year to make an impact on a team–which he did, playing 39 games averaging 4.7 points and 3.1 rebounds for Brooklyn–but arriving in Miami will be his best decision to date. Already predicted to be the backup center behind Hassan Whiteside, Reed will be looked upon to put in hard minutes off the bench, scoring, rebounding, and serving as a defensive anchor in the paint. With Chris Bosh’s health remaining in uncertainty, Reed’s minutes could increase even more in his absence. Given the correct minutes, Miami–like they’ve done in the recent past–could develop Reed in an everyday big man.

Reed’s 2015-16 season with Brooklyn was a huge stepping stone in his career. Though numbers like 4.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and .8 blocks per game while shooting an efficient 57.1 percent in 39 games don’t jump off the stat sheet, he played in just 10.9 minutes per game. Per-100-possessions, his stats were an eye opening 21.5 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks; numbers that could be flirted with if given the correct amount of playing time.

After playing for the Miami Heat’s Summer League team for two consecutive years, joining them on an NBA deal made it that much better. He’s thankful the organization continued offering chances to make it when he was struggling most. Reed admits to the Sun Sentinel,

“I told my agent that if I was to get a minimum deal with the [Miami] Heat, I’d take it just because what they did for me.”

Reed did just that, inking a two-year-deal, worth the minimum with the team. Playing with that hungry attitude, anything is possible for the 26-year-old big man.

Reed’s 6’10 lean muscled frame, along with his 7’3” wingspan and 37” vertical, allows him to be a mobile force on the defensive end. Protecting the rim and blocking shots come easy, but this offseason, Reed has put in work so his offensive skill could catch up with his defensive abilities. As seen on his Instagram (showtimereed33), Reed is especially working on his postgame, spinning around the defender leading into the dunk, and also a lethal jump hook. Footwork is another trait Reed hopes to master.

Willie Reed has been through it all. The amount of heartbreak he’s suffered through in attempt to fulfill his dream only makes him stronger. The D-League is far in the rear view mirror. The 2016-17 season will be the best one yet. We’ll be watching, Willie.

 

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