Shocking trade I: Naz Reid
Let’s be quite clear. Minnesota Timberwolves backup center Naz Reid is going to be a starting NBA center someday. It just won’t be for the Minnesota Timberwolves. That is why Naz Reid could become the most likely and shocking player to be traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Naz Reid is an excellent backup center and one of the most productive bench players on the Timberwolves roster right now. But, like a potbound houseplant, he has reached a critical part of his career where he must be given more playing and greater responsibility, or it all turns counter-productive.
Reid needs room to roam, and Timberwolves simply don’t have that
Reid will not start in place of a healthy Rudy Gobert, and Gobert has started in 36 of the Timberwolves’ 42 games so far this season. Of those six games, Reid has only started in four of them. So that means that even though the injury-riddled Timberwolves roster needs help, Naz Reid is not always the automatic upgrade.
Even that would not be problematic, save the fact that the Timberwolves have found a lot of potential in young Luka Garza, a center who is currently playing on a Two-Way contract. In nearly a third of the average minutes, Garza is scoring half as much as Reid, and he has shown the potential to be a stronger defender as well. Right now, the Timberwolves are in negotiations to extend Reid. But that may not happen as the strong play of Garza means that the team could redirect Reid’s playing time to Garza. And Reid’s value is as high as any tradeable player on the Timberwolves roster right now.
Shocking? You bet. But if Karl-Anthony Towns returns healthy, and if Luka Garza gets more playing time, then it could result in a more balanced and more competitive Timberwolves roster going forward.