Naz Reid‘s role entering 2022/23 was uncertain, but the fourth-year center has once again proven to be a valuable bench piece for the Timberwolves. The 23-year-old is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer, and at least three teams — the Clippers, Nuggets and Nets — have reportedly inquired about him on the trade market.
Head coach Chris Finch says Reid’s game has drawn praise around the NBA, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.
“He’s got a lot of skill offensively. Underrated rim protector with his shot blocking,” Finch said. “He’s a heck of a story, having been an undrafted guy, remade his body, developed confidence, excellent system fit. Really a modern center now, a modern big.
“As for the specifics or any of the chatter, I don’t know, but I can tell you he has won a lot of fans around the league and a lot of other coaches and people I’ve talked to really like him.”
Reid says he’s focused on basketball and hasn’t been bothered by the trade rumors, Hine adds.
“Whatever happens is going to happen for the better,” Reid said. “I just try to play basketball, focus my mind on basketball and not so much what’s going on outside of basketball. I mean, hopefully everything goes full circle and comes the right way.”
Here’s more from the Northwest:
- The Timberwolves signed forward Kyle Anderson to a two-year, $18MM deal in free agency, and his addition “has been nothing short of season-saving,” writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. As Krawczynski notes, Anderson’s versatility on both ends of the court and terrific game-sense have been critical for a team that has often lacked “poise and patience.” Through 40 games (25 starts, 26.5 MPG), the 29-year-old is averaging 8.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.3 SPG and 0.9 BPG on .498/.439/.775 shooting. He is typically a low-volume outside shooter (1.4 threes attempted per game), but the assists and 3PT% represent career highs.
- Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has rounded into his old form after a slow start, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). Murray, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, has averaged 20.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.4 APG and 1.0 SPG on .471/.405/.863 shooting over his past 21 games (34.6 MPG), a stretch in which the Nuggets have gone 20-5 (2-2 without Murray). Renowned for his inspired play in the Orlando Bubble in 2020, the 25-year-old says he wants to exceed that level to quiet questions about whether he’s fully “back,” Singer writes. “I can’t control (the comparisons),” he said. “That wasn’t even the best. That’s just the best I’ve shown. I know that there are more levels to my game than that.”
- Jazz big man Kelly Olynyk will be available for Saturday’s matchup with Dallas, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Olynyk missed four games with a left ankle sprain last month, returned for seven games, and then re-injured the same ankle on January 8. He has missed the past eight games with the injury.