NBA Rumors: More than Timberwolves scrambling to pay Naz Reid now

Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

Pay the man is a common expression among the fans of any NBA team that faces the need to find the funds to compensate a player who wants a new contract, particularly if that player was a solid contributor in the past. But when push comes to shove in the NBA, money paid to one player is money that cannot be paid to another player.

And that is where things become quite tricky.

The Minnesota Timberwolves want to pay Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Naz Reid, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Luka Garza. But as soon as you start working on how to pay each what they feel they deserve, you find that the funds run out long before the number of worthy players does. That is when the wild and whacky trade scenarios involving Minnesota Timberwolves players start popping out of the woodwork.

Is Naz Reid worth all that?

One of the hottest names in NBA Rumors right now is the name of Minnesota Timberwolves backup center Naz Reid. That’s for good reason because the young star center of the Timberwolves proved in the 2022-23 NBA season that he has the ability to step up for an NBA and fill a starting center role.

Of course, a starting center commands a much larger salary than a backup center, which is why the Minnesota Timberwolves have a tough job ahead of them in trying to lure Naz Reid back to the team. One of the other NBA teams who have been linked to showing strong interest in Reid is the Los Angeles Lakers, who have a need for a starting center and have not hesitated to add former Timberwolves players during the 2022-23 NBA season.

It could work out for them, but there are no guarantees.

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Finding the funds is the tough part

So far, the presumption has been that the Lakers have all the funds necessary to cut a paycheck for Naz Reid and call it a day. But is that truly the case? Some think that paying Naz Reid would trigger financial frustration with the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason roster restocking plans as well:

With the new NBA/NBPA agreement, there are significant financial penalties that not only impact an NBA team in terms of the luxury tax but also trigger a number of penalties that have a negative impact on the tools that NBA teams have at their disposal.

Can a team find enough money to pay Naz Reid? Of course. But which team will do so? That’s a huge question because the stakes have been raised for NBA teams to commit to the wrong player. The Los Angeles Lakers loaded up to get to the 2023 NBA Playoffs but found out that their stars wilted after getting there. Will that make them once bitten twice shy? Or will the Lakers follow through with their pursuit of Naz Reid at all costs?

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In the end, it seems that there are more NBA teams than just the Minnesota Timberwolves grappling with the best strategy to hedge their bets for the 2023-24 NBA season. While NBA Rumors continue to link Timberwolves Naz Reid to the LA Lakers, financial experts are starting to push back. It seems that NBA money will play a far more significant role in restocking rosters this off-season.