It's easy to disregard the spot-up shooter on a good team as nothing more than a role player.
Now I know that realistically there probably isn't a place for Tyrel Reed in the NBA. However, if I were an NBA scout, I'd try to convince my organization to invite him into town for a tryout.
Reed will probably go undrafted anyways. Worst case scenario, you invite him for a tryout and send him home if it doesn't pan out.
Best case scenario, he grows nine inches or so and becomes Dirk Nowitzki.
Slightly more likely scenario, Reed has a good enough showing that some team decides to keep him around the D-league for awhile to see what happens.
Look at Jimmer Fredette right now, a guy potentially playing his way into the NBA Draft Lottery. Now don't get your mid-major panties all up in a wad, Fredette faithful. I'm not comparing Reed to a guy I think will be the Player of the Year.
I am saying that Reed's tools could have developed into the traits we see in Fredette right now.
He's a great rebounder for a guy his size, he's fast, scrappy and active all over the floor, and his ball-handling and passing skills are both underappreciated and still developing. His athleticism is very pleasantly surprising and could help him become a reliable perimeter defender on the next level (i.e. J.J. Reddick).
His spot-up shot is deadly from every corner of campus, his release is quick, his mid-range game is great to0 and his ability to shoot off the dribble and he's finding more to create his own shot every game. Don't forget he's excellent from the charity stripe, too. Did I mention he's becoming as clutch a shooter as there is in the league?
But who am I talking about? Tyrel Reed now or Jimmer Fredette two years ago as he became his team's go-to guy?
What if Tyrel Reed had gone to the mid-major ranks instead of Kansas? (Props to him for following his dreams, though, and for making an otherwise very good team into a deeper, more well-rounded even better team.)
With the opportunities Fredette has had at BYU, I believe Reed could have become a very similar player. He's even a bit longer and more athletic overall than Fredette is, and I think with some help he could become a solid point guard prospect for the next level.
Had Kansas' need for a shutdown defender, ballhandler or true scorer been greater throughout Reed's career in Lawrence, I can guarantee that he would be nearly as refined in those phases of the game as Fredette is now at BYU.
And who better to help Reed develop those abilities than the best coaching staffs in the world and continued experience playing against elite competition (even in the D-League)?
If I'm anywhere close to right and experience is the biggest factor separating Reed from a potential lottery pick like Jimmer Fredette is his experience and fantastically developed leadership skills, I'd sure as hell give him at least a shot at a workout.
But maybe that's why I'm not an NBA scout.
Either way, props to Tyrel Reed for playing the best basketball of his career and for becoming an extremely valuable player on a great team.
Maybe he's only an explosive NCAA Tournament away from getting a few more looks.