Nets center Willie Reed took his first step towards returning to the team’s active roster and making his NBA debut, participating in the non-contact portions of Nets practice Friday. It was Reed’s first involvement in practice since undergoing surgery in preseason.
The Nets signed Reed to a mostly guaranteed deal this offseason, expecting him to compete with Andrea Bargnani for minutes at center behind Brook Lopez. But the 6’10” backup suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb on October 15th, going under the knife the next day. He was expected to be out six to eight weeks, which puts a potential return date for Reed sometime in the next ten games.
Reed dominated the D-League for three seasons after leaving St. Louis University, averaging 15.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game in his D-League career, but has yet to play in an NBA game. Reed enlisted the help of fans throughout his tenure in the D-League on social media with the hashtag #CallWillieUp.