Naz Reid

Olympic Notes: Johnson, Garland, Bey, Durant, Satoransky

The Spurs’ Keldon Johnson, Cavaliers’ Darius Garland and Pistons’ Saddiq Bey will move up from the U.S. Select Team and play for Team USA in exhibition games, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The trio will fill in for Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, who will join Team USA after the Finals. Johnson, Garland and Bey would be candidates to join Team USA for the Olympics if any players have to bow out.

Exhibition games in Las Vegas will begin on Saturday with a matchup against Nigeria.

We have more on the Olympics:

  • Select Team members Cameron Reynolds, Josh Magette, John Jenkins and Dakota Mathias will remain in Las Vegas and will be available for exhibition games, Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes. The pool of Select Team players has been reduced by injuries and COVID-19 protocols. Timberwolves big man Naz Reid suffered a minor injury in Thursday’s practice, Windhorst adds.
  • Nets superstar Kevin Durant will look to collect his third gold medal in Tokyo and he’s energized by that possibility, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “I committed to USA Basketball when I was coming out of college,” Durant said. “And every chance that I can get that I’m healthy and my mind is in the right place to play basketball, I’m going to go out there and play. Finished the year off healthy, the regular season and the playoffs, so I felt it’d be cool to get a kickstart on next season by getting in shape a little earlier in the summer with Team USA.”
  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine will be facing backcourt partner Tomas Satoransky in Group A play and he’s looking forward to the matchup, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago relays. Satoransky will play for the Czech Republic, which is in Team USA’s Group along with Iran and France. “I’m looking forward to playing them and having some bragging rights,” LaVine said good-naturedly. “Hopefully, we really kick their butt.”

Roster Announced For U.S. Select Team

The roster has been released for the U.S. Select Team, which will help Team USA prepare for the Olympics, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Select Team, which will practice with and scrimmage against the national team during the upcoming training camp in Las Vegas, is made up mostly of first- and second-year NBA players. It will be coached by Erik Spoelstra of the Heat.

Making up the roster are:

Free Agent Stock Watch: Northwest Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Northwest Division:

Hamidou Diallo, Thunder, 22, SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $3.9MM deal in 2018

Diallo has entered the conversation for the Most Improved Player award. The Dennis Schröder trade to the Lakers opened up a little more playing time for the third-year guard and he has seized the opportunity, nearly doubling his scoring average (12.5 PPG from 6.9 PPG) and also contributing on the boards (5.4 RPG) while making more plays for his teammates (2.5 APG).

Diallo’s perimeter shooting remains an issue (28.9% on 3-point attempts) but he’s reached double figures in 13 of his last 15 games. He will be a restricted free agent and it will be intriguing to see if another team will overlook his perimeter woes and extend an offer sheet to force the Thunder’s hand.

Naz Reid, Timberwolves, 21, C (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $4.2MM deal in 2019

Very little has gone right for Minnesota this season but Reid continues to be a bright spot. The undrafted second-year big man is averaging 12.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 1.2 BPG and his 3-point shot is improving (39.7%). Reid had a 29-point performance against OKC and a 23-point outing against the Clippers this month. He filled the stat sheet with 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks in an overtime loss to Indiana on Wednesday.

Reid’s $1.78MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed; the Timberwolves’ front office will have some tough roster decisions to make over the next year but that won’t be one of them.

Gary Trent Jr., Trail Blazers, 22, SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $3.92MM deal in 2018

Trent, who will be a restricted free agent, emerged as a valuable rotation piece in his second season a year ago. He’s become even more important with CJ McCollum sidelined by a foot injury. Trent is averaging 15.3 PPG while knocking down an impressive 44.7% of his 3-point attempts despite taking 7.2 shots per game from deep. He’s averaging 19.8 PPG during the team’s current six-game winning streak. The Blazers already have $70MM committed to their starting guards next season; can they afford to hold onto Trent if someone lavishes the sharpshooter with a lucrative offer sheet?

Will Barton, Nuggets, 30, SG/SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $53MM deal in 2018

Barton has a player option worth $14.67MM for next season and the way he’s played this season, he’ll have no reason to opt out. Barton missed the summer restart due to a knee injury and hasn’t been a consistent factor on a team with championship aspirations. He scored 10 or fewer points in six of his last 10 outings before taking off a few games for personal reasons. His PER for the season is 11.6, well below average. The Nuggets need more from their wings, including Barton, if they want to make another deep playoff run.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Timberwolves Notes: Rubio, Rosas, Reid, Towns

Ricky Rubio hasn’t found a level of comfort since returning to the Timberwolves, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. After the Suns traded Rubio to Oklahoma City on draft day, Minnesota expressed interest in bringing him back to the place where he played his first six NBA seasons. However, he hasn’t developed a rapport with backcourt mate D’Angelo Russell, and the Wolves are sinking with their best player, Karl-Anthony Towns, sidelined by COVID-19.

“Trying to pick it up, but it’s tough,” Rubio said. “It is what it is. There’s no excuses. I’m going to keep working hard. I’ve been in the league for 10 years and I know who I am, but it’s off. My game is not here, and I’ve got to find it.”

Through the first part of the season, Rubio is averaging career lows at 6.2 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. His shot has been off as he’s posting his worst marks ever in effective field-goal percentage (.369), field-goal percentage (.341) and 3-point shooting (.185).

“There’s a fine line of overthinking,” Rubio said. “Sometimes, if you think too much, it’s bad for you, but you can’t just let it go and go out there. You’ve got to fix it if things are not working. Got to feel better with the system, with what we’re running, and as a point guard, I’ve got to do my job.”

There’s more on the Wolves:

  • Rubio could wind up being a trade chip, suggests Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. The veteran guard will have a $17.8MM expiring contract next season, which could be useful to help match salary in a deal. Hine adds that team president Gersson Rosas views trades as the best way to improve.
  • Second-year center Naz Reid, who has taken over as a starter in Towns’ absence, shares the organizational philosophy of avoiding mid-range shots, Hine writes in a separate story. “It’s not that I can’t shoot them. It’s that I don’t feel right shooting (them),” Reid said. “The system of (rim) twos, threes, free throws is a proper system.”
  • Towns revealed this week that he was hit by a drunk driver in Los Angeles before the start of the season, relays Mark Medina of USA Today. Towns, who lost his mother and six other family members to COVID-19 last year, talked about the incident in a question-and-answer session on Instagram about how he has overcome so much adversity.

Northwest Notes: Conley, Grant, Reid, Daniels

Jazz guard Mike Conley has finally regained his health and is reminding everyone just how talented he is, Aaron Falk of NBA.com writes.

Conley recorded 25 points, five assists and three steals in a road victory over the Celtics on Friday, demonstrating his value at the point guard position.

“It’s just funny how people work,” teammate Donovan Mitchell said of Conley, as relayed by Falk. “Y’all can continue to hate and say what y’all want. I see it. I know he does, too. But that’s Mike Conley. He’s a Hall-of-Famer, one of the best to play at his position.”

Utah acquired Conley from Memphis last July in exchange for Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, the draft rights to Darius Bazley and a protected first-round pick, solidifying its backcourt by pairing him and Mitchell together.

Conley had a slow start to the 2019/20 season, but the 32-year-old has increased his production in recent weeks as the team gears up for a playoff push. In total, he has averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 assists and 0.8 steals in 28.4 minutes per contest.

“There’s way less thinking,” Conley said of his team’s recent surge. “I’m just playing the game. After playing together for a while now, I’m feeling in charge, knowing how you can put guys in position to be successful and make plays, knowing what times in the game that I can be aggressive.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division today:

  • Nuggets forward Jerami Grant is fitting in seamlessly with the team, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. “We’ll see how it goes in the offseason,” said Grant, who holds a $9.3MM player option for next season. “It’s definitely all situational, but I’m definitely comfortable here. I love my teammates, love the coaches, everything.”
  • The Timberwolves are rallying around rookie big man Naz Reid as he continues his impressive play, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. “Naz is great,” teammate James Johnson said. “Right now he’s not focused on one aspect of the game, he’s doing so many things that stats won’t ever show or that fans won’t ever see. The locker room feels it. Real basketball fans feel it. I’m sure you guys feel it. He keeps doing that, his job’s going to get more and more and his responsibilities are going to be more and more and he’s going to be ready for it.”
  • Eric Spyropoulos of NBA.com examines what Troy Daniels could bring to the Nuggets, with Denver signing the 28-year-old to a contract this past week. Daniels, known as a valuable three-point threat during his NBA career, is expected to provide depth off the bench as the Nuggets gear up for a postseason run.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/30/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • Pacers star Victor Oladipo was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants as he continues his rehab from a quad injury, the team’s PR department tweets. Oladipo, who reportedly could make his season debut in approximately one month, joined the Mad Ants for practice.
  • The Wizards recalled rookie forward Admiral Schofield and guard Justin Robinson from the Capital City Go-Go, the team’s PR department tweets. Schofield posted 19 points and seven rebounds in Capital City’s game on Sunday, while Robinson had 22 points and six assists. The Wizards, who have been riddled with injuries, played the Heat on Monday.
  • The Celtics assigned rookie guard Carsen Edwards to the Maine Red Claws, the team tweets. Edwards has appeared in 24 Celtics games, averaging 3.4 PPG in 10.2 MPG.
  • The Timberwolves recalled rookie center Naz Reid from the Iowa Wolves, according to a team press release. Reid is averaging 18.4 PPG,  9.8 RPG and 1.9 BPG in 16 games for Iowa.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/23/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Warriors recalled forward Alen Smailagić from Santa Cruz, according to a team press release. In 11 games with Santa Cruz, Smailagić has posted averages of 16.8 PPG and 5.8 RPG in 25.3 MPG. The rookie has yet to appear in a game for Golden State.
  • The Wizards recalled guard Justin Robinson from the Capital City Go-Go, the team’s PR department tweets. He had three points and an assist in 16 minutes against New York on Monday.
  • The Nuggets recalled Jarred Vanderbilt from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-year forward has appeared in three games with Denver this season.
  • The Sixers recalled forward Jonah Bolden and guard Shake Milton from the Delaware Blue Coats, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Milton made a cameo appearance in the Sixers’ win at Detroit on Monday.
  • The Timberwolves recalled rookie center Naz Reid from the Iowa Wolves, according to a team press release. Reid is averaging 19.1 PPG and a team-high 10.2 RPG in 14 games for the Iowa Wolves.
  • The Clippers recalled rookie guard Terance Mann from the Agua Caliente Clippers. Mann has appeared in 22 games, including five starts, for the NBA Clippers.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/16/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Pacers have assigned JaKarr Sampson, Alize Johnson and Edmond Sumner to their G League affiliate, the team announced on Twitter. All three players are available for the Mad Ants’ contest tonight.
  • The Celtics have recalled Romeo Langford from the Maine Red Claws, as the team relays on Twitter. Langford was the No. 14 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
  • The Wolves have recalled Naz Reid and Jaylen Nowell, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic relays (Twitter link). Krawczynski notes that Reid looked quick and explosive during Minnesota’s practice earlier today.
  • The Kings have assigned Caleb Swanigan to the Stockton Kings, per Sacramento’s Twitter feed. The power forward has appeared in five NBA contests this season, seeing a total of 13 minutes.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/12/19

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Celtics have assigned Romeo Langford to the Maine Red Claws, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Carsen Edwards was also sent to the G League.
  • The Heat have assigned KZ Okpala to their G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Sky Force, per the team’s Twitter feed. Okpala was Miami’s second-round pick this past offseason.
  • The Wolves have assigned Naz Reid to the Iowa Wolves, the team announced via Twitter. The big man has appeared in 2 games for Minnesota this season, seeing a total of four minutes.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/1/19

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Clippers assigned Derrick Walton Jr. to the G League, then recalled both Walton and rookie center Mfiondu Kabengele later in the day, according to the team. Both players suited up for the Agua Caliente Clippers on Sunday, with Kabengele posting 15 points and 19 rebounds, though he shot just 6-of-17 in a loss to Santa Cruz.
  • The Pistons recalled rookie forward Sekou Doumbouya from Grand Rapids on Sunday, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Doumbouya saw a little garbage-time action in Detroit’s blowout win over San Antonio, scoring four points in less than three minutes.
  • The Timberwolves recalled rookie center Naz Reid from the G League on Sunday, per a team release.
  • After scoring 18 points in 18 minutes for the Northern Arizona Suns on Saturday, Ty Jerome was recalled to the NBA by the Suns, the team announced (via Twitter). Jerome, coming off an ankle injury, has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Kings recalled third-year forward Caleb Swanigan from the G League on Sunday, according to the club (Twitter link).
  • The Jazz sent forward Juwan Morgan and guard Miye Oni to the Salt Lake City Stars on Sunday, the team announced in a press release. Presumably, both players will suit up for Utah’s G League affiliate on Monday vs. Grand Rapids.