Reed, 62, played for the New York Knicks during a 10-year career, leading them to NBA championships in 1970 and 1973.
He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Reed was an executive with the New Jersey Nets for 14 years and served as an adviser to the Knicks last season.
In New Orleans, Reed rejoins Byron Scott, the new coach of the Hornets. Reed was a senior vice president of the Nets during the years Scott was their coach.