NBA Rumor: Willie Reed Free Agency

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Reed is also familiar with members of the Utah Jazz organization, including assistant coach Alex Jensen, his college assistant coach at St. Louis, and Alec Burks, as natives of Missouri. “I’m definitely excited. Alex Jensen was the coach for me in college (St. Louis) that really worked with the bigs every single day,” Reed said, during a conference call. “Coach (Rick) Majerus was hands on, but I spent a lot of time with Alex Jensen and I spent some time with him in the G League when he was down with Canton Charge.

Reed, who signed a one-year league minimum deal $1.5 million with the Clippers this summer after the Heat drafted rookie Bam Adebayo and went in another direction with its frontcourt, filed the claim in part because Christian Dawkins, one of the 10 people arrested on federal corruption charges Tuesday, advised Reed to turn down a preliminary three-year, $15 million deal by the Heat early in the free-agency juncture with the promise of a bigger pay day elsewhere.

For all involved, this remains a time of year when business trumps basketball. “I love Miami and I’d love to be back there, but I understand it’s a business,” Reed told HoopsHype. “I also have a family. I signed for the minimum there last year; it was a two-year deal, and I felt I had a good enough season to opt out. “Now, I have an opportunity to take care of my family after being in the D-League and overseas for multiple years. This is an opportunity for me to make sure my family is set for life. If Miami can provide that opportunity, I’d be more than happy to be back there.”

Reed is open to re-signing and raves about his time with the Heat. With that said, minutes are sparse behind Whiteside and Reed may end up being out of Miami’s price range. “I love Miami and I’d love to be back there, but I understand it’s a business,” Reed said. “I also have a family. I signed for the minimum there last year; it was a two-year deal, and I felt I had a good enough season to opt out. Now, I have an opportunity to take care of my family after being in the D-League and overseas for multiple years. This is an opportunity for me to make sure my family is set for life. If Miami can provide that opportunity, I’d be more than happy to be back there.”

“I think that I’m underrated and it definitely motivates me,” Reed said. “But I’ve only played in 101 career NBA games, so I get it and it’s fine with me. Now, it’s my job to show everyone what they haven’t seen. I try to get better every single day. That’s why I’m in the gym every night when everyone else is sleeping. That’s why I’m back in the gym early in the morning, doing yoga and on-court work when nobody else is around. I want to be the best player I can possibly be. I’m going to give this everything I have. If I don’t become a star, at least I’ll know that I gave it everything I had in me. I’ll be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I gave it my all.

It is why it can be so complex for someone like Willie Reed to talk about what might come next, despite affection for the Miami Heat so strong that there were tears at season’s end. “I mean you have an emotional attachment to these guys. This is a special team. We made history this year,” Reed said last week of the Heat’s rise from 11-30 at midseason to 41-41. “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.”

He is expected to turn down his $1.6 million player option with Miami to enter free agency this summer, as more money is expected to be available on the open market. “I don’t know what it’s going to be like for me, to be honest,” Reed said when asked about this offseason during his exit interview. “Obviously I’ve never been in a position like this before. So I’m just trying to trust the process with things that I’ve done before, continue to work on my body, continue to work on my game and then deal with that when the time comes.”
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