Reeves Nelson's journey towards an NBA career has taken a long and unexpected path. Recruited by the likes of North Carolina and Duke, the former highly touted forward chose UCLA, playing for Ben Howland and the Bruins from 2009-2011 before being dismissed from the program. A series of "insubordinate" events led to Nelson's removal from the team, and being slapped with the notorious "bad boy" moniker.
After going undrafted in 2012, Nelson went to play for Zalgiris Kaunas, but after a rather quick release from the club, he penned a non-guaranteed contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. The 21 year-old played in 3 Preseason contests with the Lakers two seasons ago and was unable to truly stand out in limited action, leading to Lakers opting to waive him.
Nelson signed with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League in March, but played just one game with the team. Options in America seemed to be running thin for Reeves, until the Philadelphia 76ers came along. In the D-League expansion draft, Nelson was one of 16 players selected by the newest Developmental League team, the Delaware 87ers.
Mark MacGillivray of PEM360, who represents the California native, spoke to Liberty Ballers about how this all came about, as well as Nelson's possible future with the 87ers.
We were contacted by the 76ers about their interest in Reeves for the 87ers. That led to them taking Reeves out of the D-League pool and assigning him to the 87ers. Reeves is excited to be a part of a great organization like the 76ers and 87ers and is looking forward to proving what he can bring to the organization. At this time the interest from the 76ers is to have Reeves on the 87ers. There hasn't been much conversation around what could happen other than that, except to say that like all teams the hope is to develop players in the D-League and help them get to the NBA.
Last summer, the LA Times wrote a good piece on how the former high school star is attempting to turn himself around. If Nelson now has his head on straight, the Sixers may have themselves a nice developmental project.