For an expansion team that had mere weeks to prepare for its first season, the St. John’s Edge have put together a pretty solid roster, one good enough to challenge for first place in the National Basketball League of Canada.
But the Edge have never had a player who has appeared in a regular-season National Basketball Association game … until now.
On Wednesday, the Edge filled an open roster spot with power forward Ryan Reid, a Florida State product who was a second-round NBA draft pick and who once suited up with the Oklahoma City Thunder for five games.
The 31-year-old Reid played four seasons for the Florida State Seminoles, and was part of 88 FSU wins, more than any other player in the school’s history.
Known as a top-notch defender, Reid was taken 57th overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 2010 NBA draft and was immediately dealt to the Thunder. He spent most of his first three pro years in the D-League, as the NBA’s top developmental circuit was known at the time. However, he got a call-up to the Thunder in the middle of the 2011-12 campaign, making him a teammate of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for about three months.
Since then, the 6-8, 235-pound Reid has played mostly in overseas leagues in France and Japan.
Reid grew up in Florida, but has Jamaican heritage, which has allowed him to play for that country’s national team in the past.
Reid arrives just days after the Edge deactivated forward Vasilije Curcic, who was injured in a practice session last week. And he joins the roster just as St. John’s begins a four-game road trip with a game tonight against the London Lightning, a matchup that will decide who sits in first place in the NBL Canada.
The defending champion Lightning have a 16-8 record, with the Edge just behind at 16-9.
This will be the fifth meeting between the two teams, with the season series having been split so far; each side has won twice on its home court.
The Edge will certainly be looking to erase the memory of their last get-together, in London on Jan. 17. That was when the Lightning overcame a 17-point deficit with just over four minutes left in regulation and rallied to win 121-115 in overtime.
Besides the arrival of Reid, there is one other big difference in the St. John’s roster that will hit the court tonight as compared to the one that played Jan. 17. Carl English, the team’s leading scorer wasn’t with the Edge on that January road trip because of injury.
English is second overall in the league in average points per game, with 23.8. He trails only Royce White of the Lightning (25.2), but White, the reigning league MVP, hasn’t played since Jan. 21 on order to deal with what is reported to be a family matter at his home in Minnesota.