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Willie Reed tears ligament in thumb, which could help him stick with Nets

Nets Bulls Basketball

Brooklyn Nets’ Willie Reed laughs during a pause in action during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, in Las Vegas. The Nets won 87-86. (AP Photo/Ronda Churchill)

AP

Nets starting center Brook Lopez has a history of injuries. Backup Andrea Bargnani, himself no stranger to injuries, is banged up.

So, Brooklyn surely didn’t want to see a potential third center go down.

Alas…

Nets release:

Brooklyn Nets center Willie Reed has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, an MRI confirmed today. The injury occurred during the first half of last night’s preseason game versus the Boston Celtics. Reed will undergo surgery on Friday, October 16 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. A timetable for his return will be established following the procedure.

Reed, who signed with Brooklyn as a free agent on July 9, 2015, was making his preseason debut when the injury occurred.


Reed is one of seven Nets presumably competing for two regular-season roster spots behind the 13 players with guaranteed salaries.

Strangely, this could be his ticket.

Reed has $500,000 of his minimum salary ($947,276) guaranteed. If Brooklyn waives him due to this injury, he’s entitled to receive his full base compensation. At that point, why not just keep him?

The other candidate on the roster for third center is Chris Daniels, who seems unqualified. If Reed’s injury is serious, the Nets might look for another third-center candidate. But signing that player and dropping Reed could require eating Reed’s full salary.

That might be justified, but it’s something the Nets will have to consider.