When the Minnesota Timberwolves learned that backup Naz Reid was injured, a broken wrist that needed a minimum of six weeks and corrective surgery to heal, was that the end of the Minnesota Timberwolves chances of competing in the NBA Playoffs? Or did the injury merely provide the not-ready-for-Primetime Timberwolves a built-in rationalization or excuse if things went sideways?
Whatever else happened, Reid’s untimely injury certainly continued the season-long streak of adversity that had remained a strong headwind to the Minnesota Timberwolves throughout the 2022-23 NBA season. But even more challenging will be how to factor that injury into any offer that the Timberwolves may make to retain center Naz Reid with the team this year:
While Naz Reid played very well throughout the regular season, oftentimes stepping in whenever the Timberwolves were unable to suit up either starting center Rudy Gobert or power forward Karl-Anthony Towns, he was absent in the postseason.
NBA Playoff performance could weigh heavily
It’s that void of growth in the NBA Playoffs that makes this all so very tricky. You see, after all the bashing of the Minnesota Timberwolves for trading away so many players, they all seem to have wilted in the NBA Playoffs after leaving the Timberwolves, and all but one player has been traded multiple times in the 2022-23 NBA season. That lone player is rookie center Walker Kessler, but even he has no postseason experience to offer right now.
Naz Reid wants two things in his next contract. He wants to be the starting center for an NBA team. And his salary range expectations are in the $10+ million range.
Can the Minnesota Timberwolves offer either? With the urgent need to lock down other young stars like Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels, I’m beginning to wonder. And the challenge becomes even greater if you turn to extend players who did step up in the postseason, like Nickeil Alexanter-Walker.
The financial picture for the Minnesota Timberwolves has become a bit obscure of late. Not only due to the rapid improvement of young players who are now in the ‘pay me,’ zone, but the latest agreement between the NBA and NBPA has complicated several important matters that will affect the Timberwolves in the coming months.
The Minnesota Timberwolves must navigate this offseason very carefully. Not just to sign players who they want to move forward, but to ensure that valuable contributors are not left behind.