NUGGETS

It’s time for the Nuggets to make room for Davon Reed on the roster

Dec 28, 2021, 6:39 AM
Davon Reed...
(Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)
(Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)

This is the first time the Nuggets have owned and operated their own NBA G-League team. Davon Reed is living proof of how they’re benefitting. After P.J. Dozier was lost for the season with a torn ACL, Reed was called up from Grand Rapids after averaging 15.0 points and nearly seven rebounds and six assists on 46 percent shooting for the Gold.

Denver could have just as easily made the call for a veteran like Lance Stevenson or looked elsewhere around the G-League, but Reed’s consistent two-way play earned him a 10-day contract, which he parlayed into a second 10-day deal. It also helps that the Nuggets got an extended look at Reed during NBA Summer League this year, where he caught the attention of Michael Malone.

“I’ve said it since Summer League: Davon Reed is an NBA player,” Malone said after Reed went 6-of-8 from the field scoring a season-high 15 points in the Nuggets win over the Clippers on Sunday night. He also defended the potential game-tying three-point attempt from the Clippers forcing a miss and preserving a much-needed win.

Reed understands his role. His athleticism and long arms make him an easy player to plug in place of Dozier, and he’s a better shooter. Malone trusts him, and he’s also done a good job of making sure Reed knows that when he enters the game.

Since arriving on Dec. 4, Reed has played 17 minutes per game and the Nuggets have gone 5-3 in the games in which he’s appeared. His effort and versatility are something the Nuggets sorely need off the bench, and it’s shown in how he’s fit in seamlessly with any group he’s played with thus far.

There’s only one problem – Reed’s second 10-day contract expires after the game at Golden State on Tuesday night, and the Nuggets don’t have a roster spot for him. Reed is helping Denver now, and also fits with what this roster will look like when healthy going forward. At age 25, he aligns with the core of Jokic, Murray, Gordon and Porter.

But to keep Reed in a Nuggets uniform and not be facing him on some other team shortly, Denver has to make a roster move. Bol Bol and Vlatko Cancar are on expiring contracts and neither player has been able to crack the rotation, even in an injury and COVID protocol-filled season. Both were second-round picks with potential, but neither has panned out. Bol has even been involved in rumors indicating that he would prefer to be traded.

It takes two to tango and previous trade possibilities to move on from Bol haven’t materialized, but the emergence of Reed should push the Nuggets to try again to trade him. Cancar doesn’t have the talent or potential of Bol, but he’s slightly more likely to turn into a contributor at this point based on what we’ve seen so far. If the Nuggets could find a buyer willing to offer them a second-round pick for either player they should jump at the deal. If they can’t, it’s time for Denver to release Bol Bol.

He may still be a fan favorite that draws cheers at Ball Arena when he gets a few garbage minutes, but the long-shot pick is never going to be a rotation player on this team. Davon Reed already is.

It’s time for Denver to make room for Reed. He’s earned it.

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It’s time for the Nuggets to make room for Davon Reed on the roster