Nearly eight months after being hired away from the Denver Nuggets as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly might be able to catch up with his former co-workers in the near future.
Scotto mentioned Nuggets guard Bones Hyland — whom Connelly drafted — and Clippers wing Terance Mann and as potential players sent to Minnesota in a deal that includes Reid.
Mile High Naz?
Any deal that involves Reid as the main player involved is difficult. The LSU product makes just under $2 million this season, making anything other than a Hyland/Reid or Mann/Reid 1-for-1 a bit tricky.
Those deals likely doesn’t happen, as the Nuggets will hesitate to give up their 22-year-old that’s under contract for two more years (club option on that second year) and then will be a restricted free agent. Reid’s impending unrestricted free agency could be too much of a gamble to part with a high-upside, low-salary player like Hyland.
Trading for and then re-signing Reid would send Denver further past the luxury tax (already $11 million over the line for 2023-24). Therefore: 1). Additional money would come back to Minnesota with Hyland or 2). A third team would be involved to make the money work.
However, in the case Hyland ends up in Minnesota, Head Coach Chris Finch would add another young, lengthy scorer with plenty of upside to the rotation. The No. 26 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft is averaging 12.3 points, two rebounds and two assists in 2022-23 in his microwave scoring role off the bench.
He’s had a strange last 14 games, as in the last six he’s struggled mightily, averaging 5 PPG on 27% shooting. In the previous eight games, though, he averaged 17 PPG on 52% shooting (including an 18-point effort in which he shot 7-for-12 from the field in a win against the Timberwolves).
Regardless, the former VCU star and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year is an intriguing prospect that’s flashed tremendous scoring potential in his first two seasons. Adding him to a core of Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels would excite for a long time.
Naz Reid (L.A. Version)
A deal with the Clippers that sends Mann to Minneapolis and Reid to Los Angeles theoretically works as a 1-for-1 swap, but requires plenty of context.
Mann signed a two-year, $22 million dollar extension with the Clippers in October of 2021, which kicks in for the 2023-24 season. He only makes $1.9 million this year, which makes the 1-for-1 work, but the Wolves would be signing on for two years of Mann at roughly $11 million per year.
In his fourth year in the NBA, the Florida State product is averaging 8.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and two assists in 48 games. Mann’s 6-foot-5, 215 pound frame allows him to defend opposing guards and some smaller wings, which would address Minnesota’s need of perimeter defense.
Reid’s next contract — after an impressive season thus far — probably isn’t too far from what Mann signed for in 2021, so resigning Reid and trading for Mann have similar financial implications for the Wolves.
These rumors come in addition to those already involving D’Angelo Russell ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline. It’s possible he could be sent to a third team in a Mann/Reid deal or Hyland/Reid deal, which would likely end with the Wolves taking on future salary, as both Reid and Russell are slated to hit unrestricted free agency after this season.
With impending extensions for Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels — oh, in addition to Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns making $80-100 million per year for the foreseeable future — the Timberwolves have some financial hoops to jump through, which starts with Reid and Russell this summer.