The Indiana Pacers are expected to add second-year guard Davon Reed to a 2-way contract after he has officially cleared waivers.
Reed was drafted early in the second round at pick 32 last season by the Phoenix Suns, who waived him earlier this week in order to make room for their new acquisition, Jamal Crawford.
After having knee surgery last offseason, Reed struggled once he returned to action with the Suns as he made just 28.9% of his shots in his 21 games and didn’t shoot any better while playing for the Suns G-League affiliate either.
So why are the Pacers interested in a guy who played poorly in limited minutes for one of the worst teams in basketball last season?
This is really ideal use of a 2-way contract by Kevin Pritchard and his front office team. The Pacers are taking a little-to-no-risk gamble on a still young prospect that has real 3-and-D potential who they liked coming out of the college enough to bring him in for a second workout during the pre-draft process.
Reed has the length and wingspan (7 feet) that makes scouts drool and he hit 39.5% of his 3-pointers during his four seasons at the University of Miami on 512 attempts. Though he shot poorly in his rookie season, he still held his own on defense. If his shot can adjust to the length of the NBA 3-point line, there’s a lot to like about Reed.
His length allows him to get his hands in passing lanes (1.5 steals per 36 minutes in his rookie year) and he was a strong one-on-one defender at Miami as he ranked in the 82nd percentile in opponent field-goal percentage.
He also didn’t shoot the ball well his freshman season with the Hurricanes as he made just 34% of his shot attempts before three straight seasons of shooting at least 38% from 3-point range to finish his college career. So, it may just take him some time to adjust to new levels of competition.
He adds more emergency wing depth to the roster which is always welcome in today’s NBA, and the Pacers can release him with essentially no penalty if it doesn’t work out or they want to add another player to a 2-way contract instead.
C.J. Wilcox, whose torn Achilles will keep him out for the season, will no longer be on the Pacers roster once the Reed signing is made official.
The Pacers other 2-way player Edmond Sumner is familiar with a forgettable rookie season where he didn’t feel like himself and often didn’t look like an NBA player. Year two has gone much better for Sumner. We’ll see if the same can happen for Reed. People covering the Suns thought he’d be a good fit this season. For the Pacers, there’s no risk in giving him a shot.