Minnesota Timberwolves ink Naz Reid to guaranteed contract

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Undrafted center Naz Reid has parlayed a strong performance at Las Vegas Summer League into a guaranteed contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Prior to the start of Las Vegas Summer League, the Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly were set to ink undrafted big man Naz Reid to one of their two available two-way contracts.

After Reid impressed over the course of six games in Las Vegas, however, the Wolves announced that the former LSU Tiger had been signed to a multi-year contract.

Reid was ranked by ESPN as the No. 12 high school recruit in 2018 and chose to go to LSU. In helping lead the team to a regular-season championship in the SEC and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, Reid averaged 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 33.3 percent on 3-point attempts and 72.7 percent from the free throw line.

After going undrafted in June, Reid was snapped up immediately by the Wolves and expected to be a two-way player. Last year, the Wolves had guards Jared Terrell and C.J. Williams on two-way deals, and it’s fair to assume that neither will be back in fall of 2019.

Reid started all seven games for the Wolves in Las Vegas, averaging 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. His playing time fluctuated just a bit based on matchups, but was a solid player in the pick-and-roll on both ends of the floor and appeared to show good all-around feel.

Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on the specifics on the deal.

At first glance, the signing doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. If the Wolves indeed already had Reid locked up on a two-way deal, why give an undrafted rookie guaranteed money if they don’t need to do so?

There are a couple of possibilities. One, perhaps the two-way contract hadn’t actually been signed and another team came calling with a better offer. Or two, the Wolves liked what they saw well enough to want to lock him up for multiple years at a reasonable cost.

Think of this almost like when a Major League Baseball team buys out a player’s years of arbitration. Instead of keeping the player on an affordable, team-friendly deal this year without much future control, the team opts to guarantee more money up front in a measured risk while knowing that if the player breaks out, the next few years of the deal are a bargain.

If Reid disappoints, the Wolves are only on the hook for one year of guaranteed money. The deal obviously makes sense for Reid, given that as an undrafted rookie he was not guaranteed any money at all.

The Wolves currently have Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, and Jordan Bell under contract as big men who will playing exclusively the 4 and the 5. Reid provides some additional depth without a limit on the number of days he can spend with the big club, as the two-way contract would have included.

The Wolves should consider signing Kelan Martin. dark. Next

The Timberwolves’ roster is now full, and it will be interesting to see if any further moves are made moving forward to free any space.