Reid Travis had about the worst thing happen to him mid-season at Kentucky. He injured his knee in February, and while he returned in time for the NCAA Tournament, he needed to recover once the year ended in the Elite 8.
This was among the reasons why the 6-foot-8, 238-pound block of muscle wasn’t picked in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. He wasn’t able to work out for team during evaluation time, so he expected the result.
“Right now I’m kind of inching my way close (from his knee injury),” Travis told his hometown Minneapolis TV station KSTP last week. “My plan is to try to get some workouts set up right before the draft, and then get on a summer league roster and just go from there.”
The former Stanford Cardinal averaged 18.6 points and 8.8 rebounds in his final two seasons in Palo Alto. His numbers dipped to 11.2 points and 7.2 boards in his one year in Lexington, but he split time with lottery pick PJ Washington.
Let’s look at his potential landing spots going forward based on fit.
Reid Travis NBA Draft: Celtics, Bulls Headline Undrafted Free Agent Fits
Boston had a bit of a curious draft last night. On one hand, they addressed their backcourt with Purdue guard Carsen Edwards and LSU point guard Tremont Waters. Both are instant offense options now that Kyrie Irving looks to be out the door, particulary Edwards after a pair of 42-point outings during March Madness.
The other two picks in Romeo Langford and Grant Williams don’t address the other hole in the roster now that Al Horford is likely also departing. Aron Baynes is another big that won’t roam the lane for Boston next season after his draft night trade.
This is an area that Travis can address. Despite his shorter frame, the Wildcat forward is a bull in the lane. He lacks range on offense, but he replace Baynes as the glue guy in the rotation.
“One of the biggest things was just develop my shot, continue just to stretch my range out,” Travis said of the feedback he got last year. “That’s a big part of the league now. … And just defend multiple positions. … For me, it’s just trying to stay in front of smaller guys, work on my footwork. That was one thing I really worked on this year. It’s still a work in progress.”
Marcus Morris can complement Travis as a perimeter threat, as he hit 37.5 percent of his triples in 2018-19.
As far as his fit with the Bulls goes, it’s more about adding depth in the frontcourt. Right now, Chicago has one power forward on the depth chart in Lauri Markkanen.
Between him and center Robin Lopez, as well as second-round pick Daniel Gafford, Chicago has enough rim protectors. Travis can act as a guy off the bench to provide energy and score a quick couple buckets in the paint.
No matter what, Travis is the type of player that is prepared for the rigors of the G-League and earning his spot in the NBA.
“I definitely feel close.” he said to Kentucky Sports. “It’s crazy once you get an agent and you start talking to these teams. Summer league’s coming up. The draft. It’s the closest I’ve ever been. It’s just a dream come true. I’m in a great situation. It’s just a blessing. … Everyone has their own path, their own journey, so wherever it takes me I’m happy with it. I feel like I’ve done everything the right way and put myself in the right position to have success and to do the things I need to at the next level.”