The Denver Nuggets, who were facing the prospect of losing Reed after his second 10-day deal, are waiving Petr Cornelie to make room for the wing according to Shams Charania, The Athletic.
Cornelie only appeared in 13 games for Denver, mostly mopping up in garbage time but given the Nuggets’ need for perimeter players, wasting a roster spot on another young backup big man didn’t make much sense.
Reed is filling in his role nicely as a 3-and-D wing and in 17.6 minutes per game, he’s averaging 4.4 points while shooting 35 percent from behind the arc. Davon Reed isn’t the kind of player whose stats are going to jump off the box score but it’s telling that Michael Malone trusts him as much as he does, mostly using him as a defender on opposing team’s best wing options.
After an impressive showing in late December, Malone praised Reed in his postgame comments:
"“I think the time that Davon has spent with us coming into these opportunities has certainly helped him.“He’s mature, and I think he understands ‘Hey, I’m not being called up to be the man. I’m being called up to fit in and help in any way I can.’ He’s done that in both of his 10-day contracts, and hopefully, there’s a way to keep Davon in a Nuggets uniform for a while moving forward.”"
Malone, of course, has some sway within the organization and on roster moves but if there’s one thing fans know about the Nuggets head coach, it’s that he rarely gifts minutes. To his detriment or not, Malone has played a short rotation in his time as Denver’s head coach and rarely throws rotation minutes to an undeserving player.
And this trust is rewarded as the 26-year-old Reed has some excellent defensive numbers, keeping opponents to 16.8 fewer points per 100 possessions when using Cleaning the Glass‘ metric. He’s forcing turnovers and doing an excellent job at limiting opponent 3-point shots, especially from the corners.
In the aforementioned late-December matchup against the LA Clippers, Reed was tasked with guarding Brandon Boston Jr., the leading scorer for LA at the time, for the final shot of the game. He didn’t disappoint:
Reed spoke about his performance after the game:
"“Just don’t get scored on, get the win, that’s the only thing going through my mind. Defense is obviously something I take pride in anyway.”"
It’s looking like Tim Connelly and the Nuggets brass has fashioned another contributor out of thin air, similar to how he found Torrey Craig who had been playing in the G League and overseas before coming to Denver.
The Denver Nuggets are championship contenders when fully healthy but there is still work to be done in terms of filling out the rotation. By finding a solid defensive contributor in Davon Reed this season, it makes Connelly’s job easier this offseason as he looks to fill out the roster around the young core of Jokic, Michael Porter Jr., and Jamal Murray.