There are plenty of ways for aspiring NBA athletes to try and help themselves earn those oh so coveted call-ups while playing in the D-League. The easiest way, obviously, is impressing and turning heads with their varied skills. When all else fails, however, a certain Springfield Armor forward taught us all that you can always start a hashtag on Twitter.
In addition to logging twelve double-doubles this season and earning himself an "NBADL Top Performer of the Week" nod earlier in the year, Springfield's Willie Reed started his very own hashtag this season in hopes of catching someone's attention.
There aren't too many NBA executives on Twitter, but as a coincidence, recently hired Grizzlies' Vice President of Basketball Operations John Hollinger (the former ESPN writer) is. Whether or not the hashtag helped his call-up credentials, Reed still managed to build up quite the impressive social media fan base for a minor league player. From there, it was just a point of letting his play speak for itself.
Reed has been the type of player hungry for a golden opportunity all season long. From start to finish, his journey was first focused on at first earning more minutes on the NBADL hardwood as a key reserve for the Armor. After that, he had hoped his ongoing success would catch someone's attention.
It worked, as Reed is now a member of the Memphis Grizzlies.
As his numbers creeped up each month, Reed went on to average increased numbers with 15.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per contest over the last two months of the season. Though he's only listed at 220 pounds, at 6'10", Reed is as efficient of a rebounder as they come in the NBA D-League. He made the extra effort this season to work on his offensive game, and clearly, proven results began to pay off as he looked more aggressive towards the basket.
Reed's call-up follows that of his Armor teammate Kris Joseph, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets (Springfield's NBA parent squad) just a couple weeks ago.
A source told RidiculousUpside.com that the Nets had hoped to be in the driver's seat when it came to the futures of both Joseph and Reed, bringing them aboard for training camp this coming fall. Despite being able to keep Joseph in the fold, Brooklyn can only watch as Memphis takes control with regard to Reed.
The forward's contract details are still being worked out, but should the Grizzlies attach some sort of non-guaranteed and/or team option for next season, they'd have the power to comfortably keep Reed in town at least through training camp. They'd then have the option of waving him, but would retain his D-League rights for their own affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.
Of course, Reed and his representation can negotiate and/or counter accordingly, but for a minor leaguer, perhaps any potential of sticking around an NBA environment is a positive one.
Grizzlies' officials have continued to be present at previous NBADL functions such as offseason workouts, the D-League Showcase, and the All-Star Game as well, so it's easy to see why they're comfortable enough turning to a player like Reed for some potential extra help as the playoffs approach.