Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 players who have earned more playing time

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Minnesota Timberwolves, Naz Reid
CLEVELAND, OHIO – JANUARY 05: Naz Reid #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves battles for a loose ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Naz Reid

After being a top high school recruit with a relatively productive freshman season at LSU, it seemed like a no-brainer that a team would at least use a second-round pick on Reid. Luckily for the Timberwolves, Reid went undrafted and earned a multi-year contract with the team.

Reid is far from a perfect prospect, but he showed that he belongs in the NBA by forcing turnovers on defense and showing scoring versatility on the offensive end of the floor.

Reid’s fickle team defense this season caused frustrations, but he did make up for some of it with the turnovers he forced. Per Cleaning the Glass, Reid’s block rate of 2 percent ranked in the 62nd percentile among big men, and his steal rate of 1.6 percent ranked in the 87th percentile.

A common way to attack defensively impotent big men is through the pick-and-roll. Reid certainly had struggles adjusting from facing college offenses, but below, he shows off what type of defender he could be.

As the Celtics run through the screen, Reid does an excellent job of staying back in his drop coverage and not coming too high towards the ball handler. This depth allows him to stay in range to recover to the rolling screener. By using his mobility and athleticism, Reid does a great job of initially containing the ball handler and then recovering to the rim to block the shot.

Similarly to the previous clip, we see Reid use his mobility to execute drop coverage at a high level. Knowing that Steven Adams isn’t a threat from outside, Reid can focus on the ball handler until Adams threatens the paint. As Dennis Schroder comes off the screen, Reid does a great job of disrupting his drive-by stabbing at the ball.

By not fully committing to the steal attempt, Reid can stay in position to defend the lob, or the rim, while also slowing down the drive which gives Culver more time to recover. As the Schroder continues his drive, Reid continues his excellent positioning and footwork before unveiling his quick hands to poke the ball loose.

The most alluring element of Reid’s game, however, is the scorer he can become. Compared to most big men, Reid is exceptionally mobile and drawn to the 3-point line.

When spotting up, Reid scored 1.169 PPP (84th percentile), per Synergy. His confidence behind the arc is a significant asset that the coaching staff also believes in. His shooting ability is a sought after weapon, but it also results in teams having to attempt sloppy closeouts. In that case, Reid has the mobility and athleticism to blow past them and attack the rim.

Reid’s mobility is also evident with his cutting ability with 1.375 PPP (70th percentile). Whether he is sliding in from the dunker’s spot or cutting from the wing, Reid does a great job of making himself available to teammates.

For a team (and league) adamant on shooting threes, Reid is a great fit. He will also be a burden on opposing big men, because after they chase the best scoring big man in the league in Karl-Anthony Towns all over the floor, they get to do the same with Reid.