I: Naz Reid extension
While backup center Naz Reid has been a staple on the Timberwolves roster, it’s clear that his role changed with his new extension. Long buried on the Timberwolves depth chart, Reid suddenly finds his role expanding to backup both the center and the power forward positions. While that may not be the starting role that he hoped for, it’s clearly a step in the right direction.
Naz Reid has been a dependable contributor over the past four seasons for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite the many changes to the Timberwolves roster, Reid’s role has seldom changed since he arrived on the team. He has played in 245 games over four seasons and started 43 games over that period. That works out to an average of 61 games played and 11 games started per season. I point that out because, despite the Timberwolves roster facing numerous injuries in the front court throughout the 2022-23 NBA season, Reid played in 68 games and started 11 games.
That aligns almost perfectly with his career averages. But the 2023-24 NBA season will likely be different for Naz Reid, and here’s why:
A more prominent and diverse role
The Minnesota Timberwolves were forced to draft Naz Reid into a more prominent role last season and were not disappointed with the results. Reid set career highs in points per game, and rebounds per game, and flirted with career highs in assists and steals. While he is still not quite at the same level of perimeter shooter as Karl-Anthony Towns, his energy and resolve have been solid qualities that have helped him anchor that Timberwolves bench when he makes an appearance in games.
Reid may not be a star of the team. But with teammates like Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels, he needn’t be. He simply needs to be a workhorse in the paint, boxing out opponents, pulling down rebounds, and putting points on the scoreboard. As he flexes from the backup center to back up both the center and the power forward positions, Naz Reid will have an even greater number of opportunities to get minutes.
At 24 years old, Naz Reid continues to grow and develop, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are firmly backing that trajectory. With future uncertainties over whether or not the Timberwolves will be active at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, the Timberwolves are wise to expand Naz Reid’s role in the present.
Whatever comes will come this season. But after a quick review of some key bench players on the Timberwolves roster, all I can say is: Let them come.