Willie Reed (Brooklyn Nets)
6’10, 230 pounds
#DOG Counterpart: Cane Corso (highly energetic, muscular)
If you haven’t already heard of Willie Reed, that will certainly change by the start of the season! An unheralded center out of Saint Louis University, he is being touted as the “next Hassan Whiteside” in NBA circles due to the similarities in their games: fearsome shot-blocking, relentless energy and game-changing hustle plays.
Reed has had a long journey to the NBA (4 years in the D-League plus short stints with the Kings and Grizzlies after going undrafted in 2011) but after signing a 1-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets, hopefully he is there to stay.
Reed turned heads both during last year’s Summer League and this past week with the Miami Heat in Orlando. With an impressive, physical build, he will be able to bang down low with the NBA’s toughest bruisers and hold his own. Last year, in the D-League, he averaged over 19 ppg, 12 rpg, and almost 2 blocks a night.
His role with Brooklyn likely won’t translate to the same production but Reed can have a similar impact in a limited role. If we were to “clarify” it in NBA 2K terms, Reed has the chance to become a “ravenous rebounder” at the next level. Lionel Hollins LOVES bigs that hustle and don’t mind doing the dirty work in the trenches.
Reed’s game is predicated on outworking opponents and doing whatever it takes to get the job done, which is a welcome sight for a borderline playoff team like Brooklyn.
Look for Reed to positively impact the Nets’ second unit in 2015-16. If he plays as well as we expect, don’t be surprised to see him mentioned as a Star UnderDOG in the future.