It’s pretty simple. Until the NBA Trade Deadline hits on February 9, speculation is going to run rampant, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are no exception to that rule.
There are anywhere from 4-5 players that are speculated on potentially being moved, and among the players that seem to be high on that hierarchy is Nazreon Hilton Reid, otherwise known as Naz Reid.
Every time I've seen Jaden McDaniels exit the locker room, he looks at Naz Reid with a straight face, says, "Naz Reid," then walks away.— Jace frederick (@JaceFrederick) January 20, 2023
Asked Naz Reid if that's a constant: "Every single time." Even on the court.
As we pointed out earlier in the week and been a conversation piece recently is the multitude of reasons that make a Naz trade the most likely of the group to get traded around the deadline.
- His contract expires at the end of the season, and the salary/roster construction situation the Wolves currently face does not make it conducive to keep him on the team.
- He’s played well, but would likely face a heavy minutes reduction upon the Karl-Anthony Towns return in the case he does not get traded and stays on the team. Naz is objectively awesome and deserves a chance to play himself into a payday.
How Would it Work?
There’s a clear market for Reid, which benefits the little leverage Minnesota has. In this situation, the more competition the better.
Personally, I think Naz would be a great trade piece paired with a Jaylen Nowell or D’Angelo Russell, but it would depend on the move the Wolves want to make. At this point, I’m not incredibly sure how much Tim Connelly is inclined to move D-Lo with his recent uptick in productivity off the ball. Would the return for him in the form of another max slot match his production and ability to shoot the basketball that has at times kept this team afloat? I’m not so sure.
Personally, I would lean towards partnering him with Jaylen Nowell in a deal and seeing if there’s a player with a 4 million dollar range that could be intriguing with a change of scenery. It could yield some additional draft capital as well, and pave the way for a younger player like Josh Minott to a be a more full-time member of the NBA team.
I’m just not completely sold by the earlier report of Terance Mann. He’s an excellent player and would seem to be an overpay on the part of the Los Angeles Clippers. There has been rumored interest by the Brooklyn Nets as well, but I’m not sure if there’s a deal with the Nets that exists that would be mutually beneficial.
Yuta Watanabe is a matching contract and would be a nice fit, but his role with Brooklyn and his quiet, yet important emergence as a quality rotation player and also expiring deal would probably make it a zero-win for either side.
All to say, If Naz is used as a piece in a multi-player deal, I would lean towards the preference of a move on the margins and trying to get a couple future picks, as opposed to pairing him up for a seismic D-Lo move.
Is February 9 a Bones Day?
Where there’s smoke, there’s probably at least a little bit of fire.
Late Friday afternoon delivered the second report, this time from Jake Fischer and Yahoo Sports speculating on Tim Connelly’s link to Nuggets combo guard Bones Hyland.
Hyland was also synonymous with the earlier week report of the Denver Nuggets interest in Naz Reid, with their contracts also matching up. However, a little bit more of a peak behind the curtain was offered to the Nugget intentions, with Fischer saying the Nuggets are eyeing a defensive-minded frontcourt player in addition to a first-round pick.
Great sequence from Bones Hyland:— Joel Rush (@JoelRushNBA) January 26, 2023
drains the 3-point step-back
then a long 2-point step-back
then attacks the closeout and drives in to draw the foul on Giannis#Nuggets #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/7WiDlhWNqY
Hyland is an electric player when he’s on that brings a lot of energy. But Reid isn’t what I would call a defensive-minded frontcourt player, and I don’t know if the Wolves can afford to give up further draft capital at this point.
I don’t question how effective Hyland can be, but I think playing next to the reigning MVP and 2022-23 MVP favorite Nikola Jokic can free up a lot of space as a scorer, and Hyland isn’t necessarily the most efficient player west of the Mississippi. His two-man net rating next to Jokic is one of the lower ones among the consistent players that Joker plays next to.
All to say my main question is how that translates to Minnesota. How much different would his play look in a Wolves uniform than Jaylen Nowell? If you’re giving up draft capital at this point, you have to be sure. And I’m not so sure at this point.