NBA Rumors: Naz Reid to Lakers? Timberwolves can respond in 3 ways

Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves roster NBA Rumors Naz Reid Kyle Anderson
Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

II: Sign and trade the young NBA future star

The Minnesota Timberwolves control Naz Reid’s Bird Rights, and therefore they have some leverage still over where Reid ends up. What are Bird Rights? Bird Rights, which were created in the early 1980s and were known at the time as the Larry Bird exception, are explained as follows:

"“In 1983, the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) called for the league’s first-ever salary cap, which would limit the cash amount teams could spend on players’ salaries. Rather than institute a ‘hard cap,’ which would strictly prohibit teams from going above a certain salary limit, the NBA chose a “soft cap” with a handful of exceptions. With the contract of Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird expiring at the end of the 1983 season, giving the budding star his first chance to test free agency, the most notable exception to this salary cap was the Qualifying Veterans Free Agent Exception. This ‘Bird’ Exception, as it came to be known, gave free agents Bird Rights to incentivize negotiating with their existing team.” as quoted by Hoops Hype Frank Urbina"

A team gets a player’s full Bird Rights if they spend three years with their team without leaving in free agency.

Bird Rights

Full Bird Rights is a way of giving players and their agents enough financial incentives to re-sign with an NBA team, which is only limited in the amount of the NBA salary cap percentage.  Bird rights can transfer from one team to another, which means that if Naz Reid wants to take advantage of the biggest contract possible in his future, he and his team will work with the Minnesota Timberwolves to align his next contract as a sign-and-trade.

The incentive for Naz Reid is to ensure that he has an opportunity for a big payday if he earns it down the road. The incentive for the Minnesota Timberwolves is that they have a say in where Naz Reid ends up, and get something in return for losing a key contributor. The incentive for the new team is to get a contented Naz Reid and have a say in how his next contract is ultimately constructed.

But a sign-and-trade is similar to a friendly divorce, and truly only has value if teams believe that Naz Reid is an elite player who warrants that much extra effort. Of course, there is always a third option on the table.