Naz Reid was reliable for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but what will be his long-term role?
During the 2019 Las Vegas Summer League, the undrafted big man from LSU made his presence known, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves entry to the title game.
In seven games, Reid averaged 23 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per contest. What really caught the eyes of Timberwolves’ management was his ability to shoot beyond the arc, shooting 38.1 percent on 21 attempts.
The Wolves offered Reid a four-year deal worth $6.1 million, with only the first year guaranteed. Reid ended up playing 30 games for the Wolves in the regular season, starting 11. Naz was given the tall task of replacing Karl-Anthony Towns following Towns’ wrist injury.
The 20-year-old from New Jersey excelled in a role not many expected him to be in. Let’s take a look at Reid’s role with the team going forward.
Minnesota Timberwolves: What will Naz Reid’s role be in 2020-21?
Areas of improvement
Right now, the Timberwolves sit No. 28 in opponent’s points-per-game ranking just above the Wizards and Hawks at 117.5 points per game. That being said the Timberwolves will certainly be looking to add an interior defender to play alongside Towns. Naz has proven to be a valuable scorer off the bench, but he needs to prove he can be reliable on the defensive side.
Being a 6-foot-9 center with modest athleticism remains challenging, and the way Naz has accomplished this is with his perimeter shooting. Reid has a 7-foot-3 wingspan, which can prove useful in blocking shots and getting in the passing lanes. However, Reid has a tendency to use his hands a lot, which gets him into foul trouble.
The Timberwolves ranking No. 13 in the NBA in rebounding, which in part be because of their poor shooting early on. Reid would also improve his stock becoming a consistent rebounder because of his ability to run the floor and pull up from deep.
Naz Reid’s per-36-minute numbers will catch your eye. He averaged 19.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.4 steals, but 6.0 fouls to go with it. Reid is a young player who has already shown promise in the Wolves organization.
Reid certainly fits the mold of the new era big man in the NBA. He has the ability to score both inside and out, shooting 33 percent from deep, averaging one a game. To become an everyday player, Naz needs to come into his own defensively, using his length to provide a reliable big man after Towns.
Almost no one could have predicted the impact that Naz Reid the undrafted rookie had with the Wolves this season. He showed tremendous promise for a 20-year-old and will certainly have a place in the ever-changing play style in the NBA.