Timberwolves crosstrain Naz Reid to 4, is KAT an odd-man out?

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are going to be incredibly exciting this season. But that excitement did not happen in a vacuum. The mastery of Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly is on full display this season, as he has pivoted from observer and listener to strategist and chess player.

One of his more savvy but subtle moves is the contract extension of backup center Naz Reid.  Reid is a bit of a legend with Minnesota Timberwolves fans, as he has been a home-grown hero who has risen through the ranks and the Timberwolves organization since going undrafted in 2019 out of LSU.

Naz Reid competed for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2019-20 NBA Summer League tournament, a tournament in which he played well enough to sign a Two-Way contract with the Timberwolves through the 2019-2020 NBA Season.

Naz Reid needs more room to grow now

After a successful season, the Timberwolves signed Naz Reid to play for the team on a standard contract. For the next three seasons, Reid would become a dependable backup center for the Wolves. But when it came time to extend his contract, the Timberwolves had to satisfy Naz Reid that he was more than a backup center who fell behind both C Rudy Gobert and PF Karl-Anthony Towns on the team’s depth chart.

To drive that point home, Reid is playing the 2023-24 NBA season as the primary backup center and power forward, which is very much a new and expanded role for the young Timberwolves star.

With KAT as the current starting power forward, should we follow the trail of breadcrumbs? Well, why not, as the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-0) will not play their first NBA game until they travel to face the Toronto Raptors (4-0) on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at 6:30 pm CT.

But before we incite a viral message of conspiracy theories as to the imminent trade of Karl-Anthony Towns, let’s acknowledge the fact after his first three NBA seasons, KAT has missed a lot of basketball games. In fact, he missed 53 NBA games in the 2022-23 NBA season, which makes crosstraining a young and durable player to compete as a power forward not just a wise decision, but completely necessary going forward.

We’ll bring this musical chairs scenario up several more times in the near future.

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