The Minnesota Timberwolves kept center Naz Reid off the market by agreeing to terms on a three-year, $42 million contract that comes with a player option after two seasons.
The deal closed Sunday night and was confirmed Monday by Reid’s agents, Sean Kennedy and Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management.
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Reid was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this weekend after a breakout year on both ends of the floor for the Timberwolves, who have already made significant investments in big men Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns and still value Reid’s lead enough to make him a well-paid backup.
«When we struggled early on, he was one of the guys that played well,» coach Chris Finch said after the season ended. «He made the system work with his decision-making, whether he was playing backup ‘4’ or ‘5’ or starting. Then when KAT came back he naturally settled in as a key player on the bench. He was playing at a high, high level. He just showed that he can play all these different roles, which is valuable, then obviously he fits right in with the system.»
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Undrafted out of LSU in 2019, the 6-foot-9 Reid has become one of the most popular players on and off the team for his steady development, balanced demeanor and ferocious dunks. He averaged 11.5 points and shot 53.7% from the ground in 68 games in 2022-23, both career bests.
When Towns missed 52 games with a strained calf, Reid proved his worth while his rotation status was elevated. In four games when his playing time exceeded 30 minutes, Reid averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds. After suffering a broken left wrist during the final week of the regular season, Reid was clearly missed in Minnesota’s first-round playoff series loss to eventual NBA champion Denver.
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The Timberwolves had his Bird Rights and thus were able to pay him more than any other team could have offered him in free agency when the NBA trading period opens Friday night, but consistent playing time it was Reid’s top priority.
«I just want to get in top shape,» he told reporters last week. «Obviously money plays a part, but I definitely want to be able to develop in a situation that I’m used to to the best of my ability.»