Naz Reid

Stein’s Latest: Bahamas, Gordon, Thompson, Jones, Giannis

The Bahamas just had its most successful international run ever, winning a pre-qualifying tournament — and eliminating Argentina in the process — to have a shot at making next summer’s Olympics if the national team can win another six-team tournament.

FIBA drew some criticism for allowing veteran guard Eric Gordon to compete with the Bahamas, as he previously played for Team USA at the 2010 World Cup. However, as Marc Stein writes at Substack, Gordon does have a legitimate tie to the Bahamas — his mother was born and raised in the island nation, and the U.S. granted him permission to switch allegiances, likely due to his advanced age (he’s 34).

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Stein hears the Bahamian national team isn’t finished recruiting NBA players, with Evan Mobley, Isaiah Mobley and Naz Reid all eligible to represent the country. Stein also wonders if the team will recruit Klay Thompson, whose father, former top overall pick Mychal Thompson, is from the Bahamas.
  • Like Gordon, Klay Thompson would have to become a naturalized citizen in order to compete for the Bahamian team, and only one such slot is available in FIBA events. Thompson has already won a pair of gold medals with Team USA. His father neither confirmed nor denied that his son might attempt to compete for the Bahamas in the future, simply telling Stein, “We’ll see.”
  • Derrick Jones Jr. considered signing with the Heat in free agency, league sources tell Stein. The veteran forward, who played two-plus seasons in Miami, instead signed a one year, minimum-salary deal with the Mavericks.
  • The Lakers and Knicks are among the teams that may intrigue Giannis Antetokounmpo if he were to leave the Bucks in the future, according to Stein. The two-time MVP recently expressed a desire to keep winning championships, wherever that may take him. Antetokounmpo can become a free agent in 2025.

Northwest Notes: George, Edwards, Reid, Braun

Jazz rookie Keyonte George has been cleared to resume all on-court activities, Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets via a team statement.

George was named to the Las Vegas Summer League First Team despite suffering a right ankle sprain. The Baylor product, who was drafted with the No. 16 pick, could be in the mix for the Jazz’s starting point guard job.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Anthony Edwards is one of the top options for Team USA this summer heading into the World Cup. Timberwolves point guard Mike Conley expects Edwards to be better than ever during the upcoming NBA season, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. “He’s working on all facets of his game. He’s hungry, he’s angry, he’s all that at the same time,” Conley said. “It’s going to be really fun to see his development and how he comes back this season.”
  • Timberwolves center Naz Reid is no longer under the radar after signing a three-year, $42MM extension. He told Krawczynski that he’s fine with the added pressure that comes with the contract. “Bigger role, bigger expectations,” Reid said. “So I’m definitely going to show I’ve improved, in every facet of the game, maturity, basketball or whatever the case may be. Higher pay comes higher responsibility. This is what comes with it. So I’m ready for it.”
  • What player needs to step up the most for the Nuggets to repeat as champions? Harrison Wind of DNVR Nuggets believes Christian Braun fits that description with the anticipation that Braun can expand his offensive contributions.

Northwest Notes: Yurtseven, Edwards, Thunder, Simons

Omer Yurtseven tells Semih Tuna of Eurohoops that he received interest from two Turkish teams before deciding to sign with the Jazz last month. The 25-year-old center, who spent his first two seasons with Miami, said he wants to try to establish himself in the NBA before giving consideration to playing in his native country.

Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes were interested,” Yurtseven said. “Fenerbahce is my home, and I also love Erdem Can, my former coach, but even if I wanted to come here towards the end of my career, now is not the time.”

Yurtseven, who is spending this summer with the Turkish national team, became an unrestricted free agent when the Heat opted not to give him a qualifying offer. He had a promising rookie year, but was limited to nine games last season after undergoing ankle surgery. He’s happy to get a chance to start over in Utah.

Having coach Will Hardy at Utah Jazz, playing with Europeans in significant positions, and being a young team, I couldn’t see any negatives, so it was an easy choice among my top three preferences,” Yurtseven said.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Anthony Edwards believes the Timberwolves would been much better if not for a calf injury that forced Karl-Anthony Towns to miss most of the season, per Sam Yip of HoopsHype. “I think if we get KAT for a whole season, we’ll be all right,” Edwards said. He added that the trade for Mike Conley in February brought a much-needed veteran presence to the team and expressed delight that Minnesota was able to reach an extension with Naz Reid.
  • In a mailbag column, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman projects the Thunder‘s 15-man roster for opening night. Mussatto expects Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jack White, TyTy Washington and Victor Oladipo to all be waived at some point.
  • Anfernee Simons expressed support for Trail Blazers teammate Damian Lillard to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Asked what it would be like to lose his mentor in a potential trade, Simons responded, “A lot of people ask me that question all the time, obviously, like what’s going on with Dame. I say, ‘They say he asked for a trade, he asked for a trade.’ That was it. Obviously, me and Dame have a close relationship. I’m always going to support him no matter what.”

Reid, Murphy, Grimes, Pritchard Joining USA Select Team

Timberwolves big man Naz Reid, Pelicans forward Trey Murphy, Knicks guard Quentin Grimes, and Celtics guard Payton Pritchard are among the young players joining the USA Select Team in a couple weeks to practice and scrimmage against the main Team USA roster ahead of the FIBA World Cup.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski reported that Pritchard, Murphy and Reid would attend the American team’s training camp (Twitter links), while Shams Charania of The Athletic reported (via Twitter) Grimes would be present.

Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren of the Thunder, Rockets guard Jalen Green, Pistons guard Cade Cunningham, and Kings forward Keegan Murray will also be part of the Select Team, as The Athletic reported on Thursday.

Reid, who signed a three-year, $42MM extension at the end of June to remain with Minnesota, averaged career bests of 11.5 PPG and 4.9 RPG last season. Murphy had a breakout second season in 2022/23, averaging 14.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 1.1 SPG on a stellar .484/.406/.905 shooting line.

Grimes started the majority of ’22/23 for New York, averaging 11.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.1 APG on .468/.386/.796 shooting while playing solid defense. Pritchard had the most modest role of the four new players reportedly joining the Select Team, averaging 5.6 PPG on .412/.364/.750 shooting in 13.4 MPG last season.

It’s possible a player or two on the Select Team could be used as an injury replacement for someone on Team USA’s 12-man roster. For example, Keldon Johnson, who was a Select Team member ahead of the Tokyo Olympics a couple years ago, replaced Bradley Beal when the star guard contracted COVID-19.

The Americans will start training camp for the World Cup on August 3 in Las Vegas, with their first game scheduled later that month in the Philippines.

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Rupert, Reid, Gillespie

In an effort to steer Damian Lillard to the Heat, agent Aaron Goodwin has been contacting other teams and warning them not to pursue a trade with the Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi. Several executives around the league told Wojnarowski that Goodwin is claiming Lillard won’t be happy if he gets dealt anywhere but Miami.

General managers have insisted to Woj that the tactic is fairly common and won’t impact their interest in a potential Lillard deal. He remains under contract, and the opinion throughout the league is that he’ll play equally well no matter where he winds up.

The two-year, maximum-salary extension that Lillard received last summer makes it more difficult for Portland to find value in return for its star guard, Wojnarowski adds. Although Lillard is under contract through 2026/27, his salary for that season will be more than $63MM, which a lot of teams don’t want to take onto their cap.

Some progress toward a Lillard deal could be made this week as executives gather for the Las Vegas Summer League, but Wojnarowski doesn’t expect a quick resolution. He suggests it may take most of the summer for Portland to find an acceptable offer and that Miami’s best chance could be for the process to drag on so long that other teams in the market for Lillard drop out of the bidding.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Rayan Rupert‘s new contract with the Trail Blazers is fully guaranteed for two seasons and carries a team option for the third year, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The New Zealand Breakers star was selected with the 43rd overall pick.
  • The Spurs or Cavaliers might have offered him more, but Naz Reid was happy to bypass free agency in favor of a three-year extension with the Timberwolves, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Reid was hoping to remain in Minnesota after spending his first four NBA seasons there. “I started my career here. I wanted to continue my career here,” Reid said. “I’ve gotten better each and every year here as well, so it only made sense. I didn’t want to go anywhere else and continue my journey, as far as I’ve gone. I’ve felt all my teammates and coaches and everybody has been great to me.”
  • Collin Gillespie is eager to show the Nuggets what he can do after suffering a lower left leg fracture last summer, writes Ryan McFadden of The Denver Post. Gillespie received a two-way contract and remained on Denver’s roster even though he wasn’t able to play. “When I got injured, I was like ‘Man, this is not good,’” he said. “But it just tells you about the organization (and) what kind of people they are. It’s a special organization. I was extremely grateful that they stuck with me.”

Stein’s Latest: Mavs, Thybulle, J. Allen, Maxey, D. Powell

In addition to their previously reported interest in Grant Williams, the Mavericks have their eye on another restricted free agent, Matisse Thybulle of the Trail Blazers, league sources tell veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein (Substack story).

It’s unclear if Dallas has a real shot at either player — according to Stein, the Celtics and Blazers have been sending “behind-the-scenes signals” that they plan to match any offer sheet on their respective RFAs, and the over-the-cap Mavericks will be limited to the mid-level exception.

Besides pursuing another wing, the Mavericks would still like to upgrade their center spot. They explored trades for Clint Capela and Deandre Ayton and would have been interested in Naz Reid if he had reached free agency, Stein writes. For now, Dwight Powell and Richaun Holmes appears poised to vie for the starting job as lottery pick Dereck Lively adjusts to the NBA.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest look around the league:

  • There have been some “whispers” this week that Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen may be more available via trade than the team is letting on, says Stein. Allen was an All-Star in 2021/22 and had another solid season in ’22/23, but struggled to make an impact during Cleveland’s first-round playoff loss to New York.
  • Stein, like some other reporters, has heard that the Sixers have essentially made Tyrese Maxey untouchable in trade discussions. A team source tells Stein that Philadelphia views Maxey as an integral part of the club’s future and is adamant that he won’t be available in any trade.
  • According to Stein, Dwight Powell received “serious” interest from the Rockets before deciding to remain with the Mavericks. Houston pivoted to Jock Landale after Powell chose Dallas, Stein explains.

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Jazz, Timberwolves Moves, Brown, Jackson, Braun, Wallace

The Jazz will have internal discussions about getting involved in the Damian Lillard sweepstakes, according to The Athletic’s Tony Jones.

If they make a run for him, the Jazz could put together an impressive package of expiring contracts and future first-round picks for the Trail Blazers All-Star guard, who requested a trade this weekend. He’d instantly transform a team with a suddenly formidable frontcourt and quality depth into a contender.

The downside is Lillard’s age, defensive deficiencies and gargantuan contract. Jones explores the pros and cons of a potential Jazz trade for Lillard and ultimately concludes it would be worth it, as long as they set a strict limit on what they would give up.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves, after extending Naz Reid, made a number of under-the-radar moves in free agency to help them avoid future tax issues, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. They divvied up their mid-level exception to acquire Shake Milton and Troy Brown, as well as re-signing Nickeil Alexander-Walker via his Bird rights. All of the contracts were two-year deals. Thus, their roster is almost all set for next season and the combined salaries are below the luxury tax threshold.
  • After losing Bruce Brown in free agency to Indiana, the Nuggets have a huge hole to fill in their rotation. Jones explores how Denver will fill up those available minutes. Reggie Jackson, who is re-signing with the club on a two-year deal, is slated to be the backup point guard. Christian Braun will see his minutes expand, presumably as a combo guard.  Denver could also add another piece via free agency to improve its depth.
  • Due to trade restrictions, Cason Wallace will miss the Thunder’s three Summer League games in Salt Lake City, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman notes. Wallace was chosen with the No. 10 pick in a draft-night swap with the Mavericks, who also shipped forward Davis Bertans to OKC in exchange for the No. 12 pick. The trade can’t be finalized until at least Thursday, forcing Wallace to miss those games. However, he’ll be eligible to play in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Timberwolves Sign Naz Reid To Three-Year Extension

JUNE 28: Reid’s three-year extension with the Timberwolves is official, the team confirmed in a press release.

JUNE 25: Days before he was slated to hit unrestricted free agency, Timberwolves center Naz Reid has agreed to sign a three-year, $42MM contract extension to stay in Minnesota, his agents Jeff Schwartz and Sean Kennedy inform Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Reid’s new deal will include a player option for 2025/26.

As Woj notes, Reid enjoyed a well-timed breakout season in 2022/23 as the Timberwolves’ third big man, averaging career bests of 11.5 PPG (on .537/.346/.677 shooting splits) and 4.9 RPG. He also chipped in 1.1 APG, 0.8 BPG, and 0.6 SPG across his 68 contests with the team.

The 23-year-old first joined Minnesota on a two-way contract after going undrafted out of LSU in 2019, and by his second season in 2020/21 had carved out a major rotation role with the team.

Reid’s reported new contract represents a massive pay upgrade for the 6’9″ reserve. The $1.9MM minimum salary he earned in 2022/23 had been his prior pay peak.

Based on Reid’s previous contract, the most Minnesota could offer in an extension prior to free agency was a starting salary of $12.95MM, which is 120% of this season’s estimated average salary. It appears the Wolves offered that full amount, so his deal will be worth just shy of $14MM in year two, with an option worth just over $15MM in year three.

According to Matt Williams of ESPN (Twitter link), Reid averaged 0.78 points per minute following the 2023 All-Star break, more than any other NBA center aside from MVP Joel Embiid.

Before Minnesota offloaded significant assets to Utah in a trade for former All-Star big man Rudy Gobert last summer, Reid had looked like he might be in line to form the team’s frontcourt of the future alongside maximum-salaried power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Reid had emerged as one of the premium big man prospects heading into free agency this summer, potentially capable of earning more money and a starting gig on another team given his upside, so it’s fascinating to see him opting to stick with his current team and role.

Fischer’s Latest: Jazz, Cavs, Wolves, DiVincenzo, Gallinari, More

The Jazz‘s trade for John Collins and the Timberwolves‘ extension agreement with Naz Reid are two transactions that could have a ripple effect on other offseason activity, Jake Fischer writes in his latest story for Yahoo Sports.

As Fischer explains, the Jazz were expected to be a player for forwards in free agency, with Celtics RFA Grant Williams among Utah’s rumored targets. The Jazz still project to have cap room available, especially if Jordan Clarkson doesn’t remain with the team, but after adding Collins to a frontcourt that now features Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler, and lottery pick Taylor Hendricks, it’s hard to see them spending big on another forward or center, Fischer observes.

As for Reid, the Cavaliers were among the teams that hoped to take a run at him in free agency, sources tell Fischer. It’s unclear whether Cleveland – which should have the full mid-level exception available – will pivot to pursuing another significant frontcourt addition to complement Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley or whether the club specifically valued Reid highly, Fischer writes.

Meanwhile, opposing executives are curious about how the Timberwolves’ new deal with Reid might affect the rest of their roster. In particular, Fischer says, rival teams are wondering if Minnesota might waive veteran wing Taurean Prince, whose $7.5MM salary for 2023/24 is non-guaranteed.

With Prince on the books, the Wolves likely won’t have access to the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception, and they’re believe to be in the market for a combo guard with size using that MLE, according to Fischer, who names Bruce Brown and Donte DiVincenzo as two possible targets.

Here’s more of Fischer’s latest reporting:

  • Minnesota is hardly the only team with interest in DiVincenzo. There has been “growing noise” among league personnel about the possibility of DiVincenzo joining the Knicks and teaming up with fellow Villanova alums Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart, says Fischer.
  • Teams with cap room, including the Pacers, Magic, and Pistons, are believed to be eyeing players like Grant Williams (RFA) and Max Strus, according to Fischer, though he has heard the same rumblings that Marc Stein has about Detroit potentially using its room to make a room at Cameron Johnson. If the Nets bring back Johnson, rival executives are prepared for Brooklyn to make a cost-cutting trade to help accommodate Johnson’s increased salary.
  • The Wizards are considered likely to reach a buyout agreement with Danilo Gallinari, freeing up the veteran forward to pursue a deal with a team closer to contention, Fischer reports. Gallinari would be ineligible to re-sign with the Celtics in that scenario.
  • The Rockets are considering high-salary, short-term deals in order to land their preferred targets in free agency, per Fischer, who suggests it might take a maximum-salary offer to lure Fred VanVleet away from the Raptors. VanVleet is rumored to be one of Houston’s top priorities in free agency.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along more of Fischer’s latest tidbits in a pair of stories earlier today.

Stein’s Latest: Reid, Spurs, Pistons, Johnson, Rose, Porzingis, Jazz

The Spurs were among the teams who were interested in signing Timberwolves big man Naz Reid before he agreed to a three-year, $42MM extension, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack article.

San Antonio was seeking a veteran center to ease the burden on No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama during his rookie season. However, the Spurs may have only planned to offer Reid a one-year deal.

The Mavericks were among the teams with the full $12.4MM mid-level exception available who were known to have interest in Reid, Stein adds.

Here are some more tidbits from Stein:

  • The Pistons’ interest in Nets restricted free agent Cameron Johnson, which has previously been reported by Stein, is genuine, he reiterates. There’s rising belief around the league that he’s their No. 1 free agent target, even though the Nets have the right to match. Detroit is projected to have over $30MM in cap space.
  • The Suns, Bucks and Bulls have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Derrick Rose, according to Stein. The Knicks declined to pick up their $15.6MM option on Rose for next season. However, Rose’s time in New York isn’t necessarily over — the Knicks may re-sign him at a lower number if his other options don’t pan out, Stein says.
  • If Kristaps Porzingis had chosen to decline his player option,  the Jazz were prepared to make offer for more money than the Celtics can give him via a two-year, $77MM extension, per Stein. They were also interested in being the third party to facilitate the trade between the Wizards and Celtics. Boston was Porzingis’ preferred destination, however.