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Hop On The Naz Reid Bandwagon While There's Still Room

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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On Thursday, the Timberwolves announced they signed center Naz Reid.

But Kyle, didn’t they already do that? 

Well, yes, they did. Before Summer League, the Wolves signed Reid to a two-way contract. 

After Summer League, it was pretty obvious Reid was going to end up being an NBA-caliber player sooner rather than later. 

He became a Wolves Twitter celebrity with his spin moves, soft handle, range from the 3-point line, and that was all before he did this to the Nets’ starting center on their actual NBA team. 

Reid’s play was a huge takeaway for the Wolves in Summer League. The former McDonald’s All-American averaged 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.7 blocks in just 18.6 minutes per game (Reid was dealing with a minor foot injury). Doing some quick math, that equates to about 23 points, 10 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 block per 36 minutes. 

The new contract Reid signed is a multi-year contract that will void his previous two-way contract. This means Reid will be a full-time member of the Timberwolves and will have no restrictions when it comes to being around the team, unlike being a two-way player in which he could have only be around the team for 45 days (both games and practices). 

It also opens up a two-way contract for the Wolves to use on another player.

This is an opportunity that Reid didn’t see coming but was also something that was somewhat in the back of his mind. Before the team left for Las Vegas, Reid admitted that the fact that the Wolves showed so much interest in him was something that meant a lot to him. But he didn’t know his decision to sign with them would come to fruition so quickly.  

“I wasn’t sure,” Reid said of earning a guaranteed contract. “I just tried to play to the best of my abilities. Do things that I can do and more right than wrong. I just tried to put myself in (a good situation) and help the team out in a lot of ways I could. I’m blessed to have this opportunity this soon. I’m excited and I’m ready to get to work. 

He’s excited, and he should be. And you’re excited, and you should be, too! This is a player who somehow went undrafted and the Wolves were lucky enough (and remember, luck comes with preparation) to sign Reid immediately after the draft.

“We identified a player who went undrafted, who we considered a valuable drafted player as far as our board and to be able to bring him into the program, evaluate him, see him play in our style, see how productive and talented he is, we were very fortunate,” Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas said. 

Reid is 19 years old and just oozes potential. With his ability as an offensive playmaker, he certainly deserves an opportunity at the NBA level. Not many big men can see the court, dribble and shoot like Reid can. Being around the team’s coaching staff for the full season will help Reid immensely, and let’s not ignore the fact that he’ll be practicing with and against Karl-Anthony Towns. 

Now, to pump the brakes a bit because sometimes (yes, even in July), we have to be realistic with expectations.

Reid isn’t going to come in and be a Day 1 rotational player. He’s 19 years old and he has a lot to learn. When Summer League head coach Pablo Prigioni described Reid in Las Vegas, he described him and as a great development project for the franchise. While he won’t be a two-way player, we’ll still likely see him get plenty of time in Iowa this upcoming season to get him some real-game experience with the Iowa Wolves. 

Thursday’s press conference was supposed to have four chairs for Rosas, Jarrett Culver, Jaylen Nowell and Ryan Saunders.

When people saw the fifth chair there was some curiosity, but after learning of Reid’s attendance and his new deal, it didn’t come as a surprise at all.  

What a month of July it’s been for Reid. The journey doesn’t stop here, though, and you get the sense Reid has a lot to prove. 

“I just want to thank the Timberwolves for believing in me when nobody else did. You guys see the potential I have and the upside I have and the chip on my shoulder. I just want to win. . . I’m going to do whatever I can to help this team win.” 

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