The Minnesota TimberwolvesTimberwolves frontcourt isn’t getting any less crowded. On Sunday, they and big man Naz Reid agreed to a three-year, $42 million extension, with a player option on the final season, his agents told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Reid, who turns 24 in August, started his NBA career in Minnesota on a two-way contract after going undrafted in 2019. In the last four seasons, he developed into one of the league’s best backup bigs. Per 36 minutes this past season, he averaged 22.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, with a 61.7% true shooting percentage. He averaged only 18.4 minutes, though, because he’s on the same team as Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert.
Had Reid chosen to explore his options in free agency, the Timberwolves would not have been able to offer him as many minutes as some of his other suitors. He might not, however, have found a team willing to pay him more than the non-taxpayer midlevel exception (which comes with a starting salary of $12.4 million). Minnesota went above that with this extension — Reid will make $13 million in 2023-24, $14 million in 2024-25 and will then have a $15 million option in 2025-26. (This is the most lucrative three-year extension that Reid was eligible to sign; on a four-year extension, he could have gotten up to $58 million.)
For the Wolves, this is a win because it removes the possibility of losing Reid for nothing in free agency. It is also a win because, in a vacuum, it’s good value. The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported after the trade deadline that more than a dozen teams had called Minnesota about Reid; on this deal, he will remain an appealing trade target.
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The extension allows Reid to stay where he’s comfortable and continue playing for Chris Finch, a coach who has empowered him offensively. It is a reward for working his way into Minnesota’s rotation, transforming his body and becoming one of the team’s more productive players. The only real drawback is the obvious one: As long as Towns and Gobert are both on the roster, there are only so many minutes to go around.
Given the logjam, it is significant that Reid and his representatives negotiated a player option. If he’s not happy with his role a couple of years from now, he can hit free agency before his 26th birthday.