Timberwolves big man Naz Reid, who just completed his fourth NBA season, recently spoke to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune about his priorities ahead of unrestricted free agency. Financial considerations will play an important factor, but the 23-year-old says it’s not the end-all-be-all.
“I just want to be put in the best fit,” Reid said. “Obviously money plays a part, but I definitely want to be able to develop in a situation where I’m used to the best of my abilities. A place where I’m able to do things that I could do.”
Hine followed up by asking if Reid thought the Wolves could optimize his abilities, and he said they could. As Hine writes, Reid has been working out in Minnesota the past few weeks after having the cast removed from his left wrist. Reid’s season was cut short in late March following the wrist fracture, so he was unavailable for the postseason.
In April, president of basketball operations Tim Connelly expressed hope that the Wolves would be able to reach a long-term agreement with Reid, who is extension-eligible, and the two sides have had regular discussions about a new deal, with Hine referring to those conversations as “productive and amicable.” Still, Reid intends to test his value on the open market, and says the opportunity to land a starting job — which Minnesota can’t currently provide with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert on the roster — will be a priority.
“I really value that as a person, as a player, because I feel like I worked to that potential,” Reid said. “But with my unique situation, it can go great either way, coming off the bench or starting. Whatever situation is presented. But for sure, I would prioritize that.”
Reid averaged career highs in multiple categories in 2022/23, including points (11.5), rebounds (4.9) and field goal percentage (53.7%) in 68 games (18.4 minutes per night). However, he was out of the rotation at times to start the season before Towns suffered a major calf injury. Reid ended the season on a strong note, with a larger offensive role off the bench with Towns and Gobert healthy. Would that type of role appeal to him?
“I wouldn’t mind it,” Reid told Hine. “Whatever we can do for me to be back in Minnesota would be lovely, but I also feel like I’ve grown to a higher role or situation than I was in, in the beginning of the year.
“I’m pretty sure everybody else would agree as well. As the time goes on, the years go by, you look for a higher role, better situations than you were in if you’ve obviously outgrown them. So, I would love to stay back in Minnesota, but it’s just like we got to find a position for it.”
It’s an interesting interview from Hine, with Reid also talking about growing “closer and closer” with Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels, two young franchise cornerstones who have been trying to sell Reid on returning. Both Edwards and McDaniels are eligible for rookie scale extensions this summer.
New York doesn’t currently need a center, with Mitchell Robinson, Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims all under contract next season. However, Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports that Reid has a “significant amount of fans” within the Knicks organization, and says he’s worth monitoring in the event they decide to trade Robinson or Hartenstein.