Willie Reed Agrees to Contract with Clippers After 1 Season with Heat

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2017

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 17: Willie Reed #35 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 17, 2017 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers and free-agent forward Willie Reed officially agreed to a one-year contract for the veteran's minimum Thursday. 

The deal was originally reported by Chris Haynes of ESPN last month.

Reed, 27, declined his player option with the Miami Heat that would have paid him $1.6 million for 2017-18. He averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds, shooting 56.8 percent from the floor. The Heat finished a surprising 41-41, foraging a surprising bond that made Reed feel close to his teammates. 

"I mean you have an emotional attachment to these guys. This is a special team. We made history this year," Reed said in May, per Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. "Of course I want to be here. But we will see what happens when it comes to time to be able to talk and discuss things like that."

Reed, who went undrafted in 2011 before battling his way through D-League and overseas stints, has proved himself as a solid bench big. He was good in limited minutes in 2015-16 with the Brooklyn Nets and was even better last season after linking up in Miami.

The Heat outscored opponents by two points per 100 possessions with Reed on the floor last season and were more than three points better defensively, per Basketball-Reference. Opponents shot 7.6 percent worse than their regular-season average when defended by Reed inside six feet of the basket, per NBA.com.

This was Reed's first real chance at cashing on, so it's likely a major disappointment he wound up taking the minimum. Cristiano Felicio got $32 million from the Chicago Bulls with a similarly limited sample; Reed had to expect he'd at least crack somewhere in the eight figures with his next contract. 

Reed doesn't stretch the floor and struggles at the free-throw line. He's something of a relic in the five-out NBA and will decline quicker than more skilled offensive players. 

The Clippers will likely use him in a similar manner to his role last season in Miami. He'll back up Blake Griffin and probably get some minutes behind DeAndre Jordan as a smallish center. 

 As a limited-minutes big off the bench, Reed is a decent fit basically anywhere.