The Timberwolves‘ decision to re-sign Naz Reid before the start of free agency stemmed from an edict by owner Glen Taylor, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “Get it done,” Taylor reportedly told his front office after meeting with partners and eventual owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez. They also talked to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and head coach Chris Finch, who agreed there was too much risk in letting Reid reach the open market.
The 23-year-old center is one of the team’s best developmental projects and has become a valuable member of the reserve unit. Krawczynski notes that Reid was given a player option in the third year of his $42MM contract in case he becomes dissatisfied with his progress and playing time with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert on the roster. Krawczynski adds that the Spurs and Kings could have been threats to sign Reid because of their available cap space and their ability to offer him a larger role.
Negotiations with Reid began shortly after Connelly joined the front office last summer, Krawczynski states. Reid worked out in Minnesota during the offseason and reported to camp with an improved perimeter game that enabled him to be effective alongside either Towns or Gobert.
The Wolves agreed to pay Reid more than they had originally expected, which Krawczynski notes will lead to difficult decisions in the future. Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels are both likely to receive extensions this summer, which will make it tough to keep three high-salaried centers on the roster for the long term.
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- If the Heat acquire Damian Lillard, it will probably be the last significant move the team can make for a while, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes in an examination of the trade market for the Trail Blazers star. A deal with Portland would likely require Miami to give up most of its remaining assets, which include first-round picks in 2028 and 2030 and pick swaps in 2027 and 2029, along with Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez. Either Kyle Lowry or Duncan Robinson will have to be involved if a trade happens after July 1, O’Connor adds. O’Connor also looks at a potential deal with the Nets, but states that there aren’t many other teams in need of a point guard who have the assets to make a serious offer for Lillard.
- The Thunder were attracted to Cason Wallace because of his unselfish approach to the game, according to Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman. General manager Sam Presti said he noticed that quality even when Wallace was playing in all-star contests. “He plays no-agenda basketball,” Presti said. “… All players have stories, and I think his story is a great one because in today’s world in, basketball, there’s so many people saying, ‘You’ve got to get more shots, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to be more out in front, you’ve got to draw more attention to yourself.’ This guy got drafted in the top 10 by just being an incredible team player.”
- Presti said Chet Holmgren continues to make progress in his recovery from foot surgery and there’s hope that he’ll be able to play for the Thunder during Summer League, according to Cody Taylor of The Rookie Wire.