Reggie Williams Signs with OKC Thunder: Call-Up Breakdown

It was fitting that when Reggie Williams was left unemployed to start the NBA season -- waived by the Rockets after signing a multi-year deal during the offseason -- he turned to the NBA D-League to rebuild his career. After all, that was where he'd built it in the first place.

Four years ago, Williams was an unknown commodity who'd torn up the Big South Conference at the Virginia Military Institute before spending his first pro season in France. In 2009-10, however, he became one of the most prominent success stories in NBA D-League history, turning heads by scoring 26.4 points on 58% shooting for the Sioux Falls Skyforce to earn a Call-Up to Don Nelson's Golden State Warriors. He went on to average 15.2 points over 24 NBA games that season, even cracking the Warriors' starting lineup.

The circumstances were much different this time around, but the now-28-year-old again had to prove himself. NBA personnel surely know what Williams can and can't do after 177 NBA games, so his strong numbers with the Tulsa 66ers (20.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists) came as no surprise. Instead, it was the way he fit seamlessly into the Oklahoma City Thunder's affiliate and played smart, efficient, team-first basketball that made his second NBA D-League stint another success.

OFFICIAL RELEASE: Williams signs 10-day contract with Thunder

"Back then I didn't know how important and how useful [the NBA D-League] was," Williams said at this year's Showcase. "Having the opportunity to go out and play against big-time college stars, NBA assignees and former NBA players really helps develop your game and bring it to another level.

"The D-League is not only the closest to getting called up to the NBA, but the competition is great, as well. I still want to compete against the best like I have the last few years, and the D-League was the best move."

At 6-6 with a sweet lefty stroke and a crafty slashing ability, Williams remains a scorer first (see season shot chart above). But the development in his game has come as a distributor. He's assisting on teammates' buckets at a career-high rate (20.1 per 100 possessions) and in February led the league with a 7.0 assist-to-turnover ratio (5.8 assists to 0.8 turnovers per game). While on a loaded team like OKC he will mainly be asked to catch and shoot from three, his proven ability as a creator adds another layer to his game.

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Video: 27 Points vs. Iowa (2/28) | Warriors Shop Talk (2010) | 2009-10 Call-Up