Davon Reed

Davon Reed Discusses New Two-Way Deal, Nuggets, Jokic, More

Nuggets two-way forward Davon Reed took an unorthodox path to where he is today.

Reed, who will turn 27 this year, has bounced around since being selected with the No. 32 pick in the 2017 draft, playing for multiple NBA and G League franchises and even making a stop overseas in Taiwan.

Fast-forward to Saturday night against the Lakers and he was being tasked with guarding LeBron James as a primary defender, registering a +33 net rating and helping Denver earn a blowout win.

“I can’t predict the future, but we’re just getting started here in Denver,” Reed told Hoops Rumors. “The community and the fans have embraced me. Obviously, my coach and my team have embraced me. I think it’s definitely the start of something special, and I would like everybody to know that I’m just getting started.

“Right now, I’m just trying to be impactful in any way that I can with the minutes that I’m getting. But once I can be on that court for more and more time, with more and more responsibility, I think people will be thoroughly impressed.”

Reed played for the Nuggets’ Summer League team in Las Vegas, signed a training camp contract with the team, joined the Grand Rapids Gold (the Nuggets’ G League affiliate), then inked three 10-day hardship deals with Denver before earning a two-way contract.

His infectious energy impressed the Nuggets, who felt compelled to keep him around when his hardship deals expired, rewarding him for his play.

Reed sat down with Hoops Rumors to discuss the promotion to the 17-man roster, his journey, his future goals, Denver’s season and more:

How does it feel to know that your work, particularly with this franchise, has paid off to this point?

“Man, it’s a good feeling. This is kind of the plan my agents and I set, seeing Denver’s track record, how they treat their players and remain loyal if you remain loyal to them. You know, as a player, you’re just excited. All you want to hear about is making that opening day roster and stuff like that. It was just a good transition from Summer League, to training camp, to being called up.”

How important do you find it to provide stable defense and bring it on that end of the floor every night?

“That’s something I’ve always prided myself on. I could see it was a need for our team and something I could provide immediately, each and every time I’m in the game. Like we talked about, it’s a natural instinct for me, but it’s also energy and effort. Just being able to provide more possessions for my team, being able to impact my team without necessarily having to put the ball in the hole is key. I look forward to doing that and all of the dirty work for my team.”

Speaking of your team, what do you think your role is on this Nuggets club?

“I think as everybody becomes more comfortable with me, they’ll realize I can bring a lot to the game on both ends of the floor. I do a little bit of everything. Versatile. I can score the ball, I can shoot the ball, but I’m also great at setting my teammates up. Just an overall, all-around player. At the end of the day, I just want to see us win.”

How supportive has head coach Michael Malone been to you throughout this process? What has he preached?

“Man, he’s been awesome. We didn’t really have too many conversations during Summer League, but he was the one who really encouraged me to come to training camp and stay patient. Since day one, he told me, ‘You’re an NBA player. I saw it all summer. Keep doing what you’re doing and bring that approach every day that you come in.’ Him being so vocal, getting me called up and getting me signed, giving me that opportunity — it’s been transformative for my career, since I really haven’t had those opportunities consistently in the past.”

What’s it like to play with Nikola Jokic?

“I tell everybody, he’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes. Just his feel and control for the game. He’s not the most athletic guy, but he just sees the game and plays the game at his own pace. I definitely can learn a lot from him since I consider myself to be a play-maker, as well, and have a lot of control on the game. Just seeing how he’s able to pick the defense apart and things of that nature. I’m constantly observing. It’s obviously fun to play with.”

You worked your way up and earned this deal. Are you satisfied now?

“Absolutely not. At the beginning of the season, I spoke to my agents truthfully. I don’t want to go to the G League, not really trying to sign a two-way, you know. I feel that’s something that I’ve done for a while now and it wasn’t really something that I was trying to do at this point in my career. But, the opportunity that we needed to present itself presented itself. And we’re still working. The goal is to become a rotational player and get consistent minutes. I want to make an impact on this championship run. That’s my real goal.”

How challenging has this season been from a COVID perspective?

“We’ve had new players in and out, each and every day, with COVID or injuries. One thing I will say is that I’m happy to see how the NBA was able to keep the season going and give these G League players an opportunity to come up. There’s a lot of talent in the G League. Usually, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for certain guys. I’m glad to see that, but COVID has obviously caused a lot of complications this season. We’re just taking it one day at a time and trying to get through this as a league. Everybody’s going through the same stuff.”

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

“For this season, being a big impact and rotational player for this championship team on our run. Going forward, leaving no doubt that I’m an NBA player. Working on establishing myself as one of the top two-way wings in the league, making a whole lot of money and winning some championships.”

Nuggets Trade Bol Bol To Pistons, Sign Davon Reed To Two-Way Deal

JANUARY 10: The Nuggets have officially acquired McGruder and the Nets’ 2022 second-round pick in exchange for Bol, the team announced today in a press release. Denver also confirmed Reed’s two-way deal and Cornelie’s release in a separate announcement on Sunday.

JANUARY 9: The Pistons will be sending veteran shooting guard Rodney McGruder and a future second-round draft selection to the Nuggets in exchange for intriguing young power forward Bol Bol, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The pick going to Denver in the deal will be a 2022 second-rounder that Detroit originally acquired from the Nets, per Woj and James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

There is more personnel news out of Denver. The Nuggets will upgrade the contract of guard Davon Reed, currently signed to his third 10-day hardship exception contract, to a two-way deal, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post. To make a two-way slot available for Reed, Denver will release current two-way player Petr Cornelie.

In 12 games with Denver, including two starts, Reed is averaging 4.4 PPG on a .457/.350/.800 shooting line, along with 3.0 RPG, 1.3 APG and 1.2 SPG.

Singer notes that Bol struggled to find a consistent position while with the Nuggets and thus toggled between spot minutes at small and power forward. Head coach Michael Malone and his coaching staff also apparently projected more upside out of big men Vlatko Cancar and Zeke Nnaji, who had moved ahead of Bol in the team’s rotation prior to Cancar’s recent foot fracture. Singer adds that the Nuggets plan to retain McGruder for the time being.

Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press opines that the addition of Bol will help a depleted Detroit squad up front, which Sankofa identifies as one of the 8-30 club’s key weaknesses. Woj writes in his piece that the addition of the 7’2″ forward will be an opportunity for the rebuilding Pistons to take a flyer on a young player with upside.

This season, Bol is averaging 2.4 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 5.8 MPG. Last season across eight games with the Windy City Bulls, the 22-year-old averaged 12.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 2.3 BPG. He recently had his best offensive game at the NBA level, scoring 11 points against the Rockets in 20 minutes on January 1.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (Twitter link) that, by sending the expiring $2.15MM deal of Bol out in exchange for the $1.7MM expiring deal of McGruder, the Nuggets will carve out additional space below the NBA’s luxury tax. Denver is now $2.4MM under the tax line.

The 6’4″ McGruder has not made much of an impact during his time in Detroit. The 30-year-old re-signed with the Pistons on a veteran’s minimum deal this summer after spending the 2020/21 season in Detroit. This season, he is averaging just 2.5 PPG and 1.6 RPG in 9.5 MPG, across 17 of the club’s 38 contests.

Nuggets In Market For Wing, Backup Center

The Nuggets are actively exploring the trade market in search of possible roster upgrades, two sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post. According to Singer, Denver is focused on potentially adding another wing and/or a backup center.

Few – if any – teams have been hit harder this season by the injury bug than the Nuggets, who are missing two of their top scorers due to long-term ailments — Jamal Murray is recovering from an ACL tear, while Michael Porter Jr. is expected to miss the rest of the season due to a back problem. Swingman PJ Dozier, guard Markus Howard, and forward Vlatko Cancar are also on the shelf, with Dozier considered likely to miss the rest of the season.

Given that they don’t expect Porter or Dozier back this season, the Nuggets are making it a priority to add another wing, according to Singer, who notes that Will Barton is one of the only real options on the roster at that position. The team has also liked what it’s seen from hardship addition Davon Reed and has interest in retaining him beyond his current 10-day contract, Singer adds.

As for the center spot, Singer observes that the Nuggets traded Isaiah Hartenstein last season and then let JaVale McGee walk in free agency over the summer. Now, with Hartenstein and McGee playing well for other teams in the West (the Clippers and Suns, respectively), Denver is on the lookout for a backup center to match up with opponents who play bigger lineups.

Nikola Jokic is the only true center on Denver’s roster. Most of the players who handle the backup minutes at the five, including JaMychal Green, Jeff Green, Zeke Nnaji, and Bol Bol, are forwards.

The Nuggets have already traded away a pair of future first-round picks and three second-rounders, so they may prefer to offer young players like Nnaji and Bol in trade talks. Their ability to make any meaningful upgrades will be limited, but I wouldn’t expect them to make a major swing at the deadline anyway, since they won’t have Porter available for the postseason and don’t know what they’ll get from Murray — this probably isn’t the year to go all-in.

Nuggets Sign Davon Reed To Third 10-Day Hardship Deal

8:33pm: Reed’s third 10-day deal with the Nuggets is now official, the team announced. With three new Nuggets players entering the protocols today, Reed’s latest contract will again be completed using a COVID-related hardship exception.

10:13am: The Nuggets are signing guard Davon Reed to a third 10-day contract using a hardship exception, reports Mike Singer of The Denver Post. The deal is expected to be finalized on Thursday prior to Denver’s game against Golden State, says Singer.

Reed, the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 draft, had been out of the NBA for the last two seasons, but made a strong impression on the Nuggets during his first two 10-day deals with the team this month. In nine games (17.1 MPG), he averaged 5.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 1.2 SPG with a shooting line of .514/.438/.667.

Typically, a player is limited to no more than two 10-day contracts with the same team in a single season. However, it appears that rule has been adjusted for hardship signings.

It’s also worth noting that the Nuggets no longer have any players in the health and safety protocols, which has generally been what qualifies a team for a hardship signing in recent weeks. However, Denver has four players – Michael Porter, Jamal Murray, PJ Dozier, and Markus Howard – out with long-term injuries, which means the team is eligible for a traditional hardship exception unrelated to COVID-19.

In instances this season where hardship additions have been necessitated by players in the health and safety protocols, the NBA has allowed clubs to not have those 10-day deals count toward team salary for cap and tax purposes. As Singer tweets, it’s unclear whether or not that rule would apply to Reed’s third 10-day contract if he signs via injury hardship rather than COVID hardship.

Three Nuggets Players Enter Protocols

After having cleared their list of players in the health and safety protocols earlier this week, the Nuggets now have three new players in the protocols, as Jeff Green, Bones Hyland, and Zeke Nnaji entered today, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

As Wojnarowski points out, the Nuggets – who will also be without head coach Michael Malone and had two assistant coaches test positive for COVID-19, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link) – are suddenly in danger of not having the required minimum of eight players available for Thursday’s game vs. Golden State.

In addition to Green, Hyland, and Nnaji, the Nuggets are missing four players – Jamal Murray, Michael Porter, PJ Dozier, and Markus Howard – to long-term injuries. On top of that, Vlatko Cancar (non-COVID illness), Aaron Gordon (hamstring), Monte Morris (knee), and Austin Rivers (thumb) are all listed as questionable on the latest injury report.

That leaves the Nuggets with six healthy players. Davon Reed is expected to sign a new 10-day contract today, but that would still just get Denver to seven. The team may have to count on one or more of those questionable players being active and hope that additional testing doesn’t turn up new COVID-19 cases.

On the plus side, since the Nuggets now have players in the protocols, Reed’s new 10-day deal will fall under the COVID-related hardship umbrella, meaning it won’t count against team salary for cap or tax purposes.

Northwest Notes: Faried, Jazz, Monroe, Reed

Kenneth Faried is joining the Grand Rapids Gold for the coming NBA G League season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Although Grand Rapids is the Nuggets‘ affiliate, Faried will remain an NBA free agent and will have the ability to join any team. If he doesn’t receive any NBA offers in the coming days, we should expect to see the 32-year-old in action for the Gold when the G League regular season begins on January 5.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • In the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Michael Scotto and The Athletic’s Tony Jones spoke about potential trade options for the Jazz, Danny Ainge‘s role with the franchise, and more. Jones expects Utah to be “really aggressive” in exploring the trade market for potential upgrades, reiterating that the team is definitely looking for one more perimeter player who can defend at a high level.
  • Veteran guard Patrick Beverley is a big fan of what Greg Monroe brings to the Timberwolves and said on Tuesday that he’d like to see the team retain Monroe for the entire season, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Monroe has averaged 9.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 5.0 APG, and 2.0 SPG in two games since joining Minnesota on a 10-day deal.
  • Davon Reed‘s second 10-day contract expired overnight, so he’s technically no longer on the Nuggets‘ roster, but the team is considering how to keep him in the mix, as we relayed on Tuesday. With no players currently in the health and safety protocols, Denver’s options for keeping Reed would be to waive someone on the standard 17-man roster or to apply for a non-COVID hardship exception based on the team’s four injured players.

Western Notes: Reed, Morant, Bane, Mathews, Chriss

The Nuggets are exploring ways to keep Davon Reed beyond his second 10-day contract, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reports. Coach Michael Malone confirmed Singer’s report on Tuesday, Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports tweets.

“Hopefully there’s a way we keep Davon in a Nuggets uniform for a while moving forward,” Malone said.

Reed has appeared in eight games since joining the Nuggets, averaging 5.1 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 17.0 MPG. His second 10-day deal expires on Tuesday night.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Grizzlies’ backcourt of Ja Morant and Desmond Bane is quickly developing into one of the league’s best, Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. “He’s a professional scorer,” Morant said of Bane. The second-year shooting guard has lifted his scoring average from 9.2 PPG during his rookie campaign to 17.2 this season, putting him in the discussion for the league’s Most Improved Player.
  • Garrison Mathews was grateful to receive a four-year contract from the Rockets after fighting for years to earn an NBA job, he told Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “Those two-way contracts, they’re hard to get out of. Because with two-way contracts, there’s not a lot of opportunities,” he said. “Then you’re in restricted free agency. It’s just tough, man. A lot of people go through it, and it’s hard. So, a lot of relief, a lot of thankfulness, honestly.” Mathews’ four-year contract is worth $8.2MM, with a $2MM guaranteed salary this season.
  • Marquese Chriss worked out for the Mavericks a couple of weeks before they signed him to a 10-day contract under the hardship exemption, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets. At the time, there was no roster spot open for Chriss, who has averaged 6.3 PPG and 4.8 RPG in four games.

Northwest Notes: Monroe, Trail Blazers, Reed, Ingles

Reflecting the chaos that COVID-19 has brought to the NBA, the league has already set a record for the most players used in one season with 541, according to an ESPN story. The man who broke the record was veteran center Greg Monroe — he signed a 10-day hardship contract with the Timberwolves on Monday after being out of the league for more than two years.

Monroe, who had been with the Capital City Go-Go in the G League, looked ready to play in his first game, posting 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block in 25 minutes. The Wolves even ran their offense through Monroe as they closed out a narrow win over the Celtics.

“He’s so experienced. He gives us a different look, some legit size and beef,” coach Chris Finch told Patrick Donnelly of The Associated Press. “His rebounding was great. Again, you can just throw it to him and things kind of calm down.”

The game capped off a hectic day for Monroe, who woke up at 4 a.m. in search of a flight, arrived in Minnesota seven hours later and had to pass a COVID test before he could go to the arena. He met his new teammates shortly before the game and admitted not being familiar with all of them.

“I’m not gonna lie: Jaylen Nowell played awesome tonight. I didn’t know who he was,” Monroe said. “I think he played awesome, but that was my first time seeing him. The game is the same, the people change. Tonight, it’s a young guy taking advantage of an opportunity.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • After avoiding the COVID-19 outbreak for the first two months of the season, the Trail Blazers have been hit hard this week, playing Monday without eight players and two coaches, including head coach Chauncey Billups, writes Casey Holdahl of NBA.com. “We know what we’re going through and we know it’s not going to be easy,” acting head coach Scott Brooks said after losing to Dallas. “We’ve just got to keep fighting. Chauncey has done a great job of instilling there’s no excuses around here. That’s part of developing, that’s part of growing up in this league. It’s easy to put your head down — we didn’t have this guy, we didn’t have this guys to match up with their size advantage — but we didn’t.”
  • Davon Reed, who is on his second 10-day contract with the Nuggets under the hardship exemption, said playing for coach Michael Malone has been “transformative for my career,” tweets Mike Singer of The Denver Post.
  • Jazz forward Joe Ingles is starting to create trade buzz, per Zach Lowe of ESPN. Rival teams believe Utah may be able to add a valuable piece for a playoff run by parting with Ingles and a first-round pick.

Nuggets Re-Sign Davon Reed

DECEMBER 19: The move is official, the Nuggets announced (via Twitter).

DECEMBER 18: The Nuggets are re-signing guard Davon Reed to another 10-day contract via the hardship exemption, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The exemption has been granted to teams with COVID-19 and/or injury issues. It allows a team to add a 16th player to its standard “15-man” roster without waiving anyone.

According to our latest count, the team still has two players in health and safety protocols, though one (Michael Porter Jr.) is injured. The other player still sidelined by protocols is Bol Bol. They also have two other players out of action due to long-term injuries.

Reed signed on December 4. He’s averaged 3.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 1.5 SPG in 16.5 MPG while appearing in six games.

Reed had previously been playing for the team’s new G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold. A 2017 second-rounder, Reed appeared in 21 games for Phoenix during the 2017/18 season and 1o more for Indiana the following season. In seven games with the Gold, he averaged 12.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 3.8 APG.

Nuggets’ Howard Out At Least Six Weeks Due To Knee Injury

Nuggets guard Markus Howard, who left Wednesday’s loss to Minnesota in the fourth quarter due to a left knee injury, has been diagnosed with a sprained knee and will be reevaluated in six weeks, the team announced today (via Twitter).

While it’s a relief that Howard didn’t sustain a more significant injury, it’s still tough news for the second-year guard, who is playing on a two-way contract with Denver for a second consecutive year.

After logging limited minutes in 37 games as a rookie in 2020/21, Howard has averaged 4.3 PPG on .355/.391/.875 shooting in 16 games (7.3 MPG) this season. He had recently entered the team’s regular rotation, averaging 16.7 MPG in the last three games, so the timing is unfortunate — he’ll likely have to earn those minutes back when he eventually returns to action.

Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter links) notes that Howard’s absence could reopen the door for the Nuggets to be granted a hardship exception, since Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and PJ Dozier are also out with long-term injuries. In that scenario, Denver could circle back to Davon Reed, who made a positive impression during his 10 days with the club earlier this month, says Singer.

According to Singer (Twitter link), the Nuggets have also placed Porter in the health and safety protocols. That won’t have any tangible effect on the team’s lineup or rotation, since MPJ is expected to remain on the shelf all season as he recovers from back surgery.