After acquiring Jarrett Culver and Jaylen Nowell, Timberwolvesna had a specific undrafted prospect on their radar that they knew they wanted, and bad. This player was Naz Reid.
The highly rated, incredibly proficient 6-foot-high recruitment of high school had a relatively productive, but still somehow underwhelming freshman year at LSU. Still, he was worth taking a chance.
Then the Wolven went after Reid hard, and the 19-year-old agreed to join the Minnesota list. The original plan was that Reid would play for Wolves on a two-way contract during this season and spent most of the year in the G league in Iowa, which was eligible to spend just 45 days with the NBA club.
Then came this month's Summer League. Reid was dominant and established himself as an offensive force for the summer rivals, who went 6-1
"He deserves a lot of credit, because what do you do next (after going away)?" Asked Rosas, Wolves president of basketball, who was hired in May from the Houston Rockets. "He embraced his opportunity. He was a top target for undrafted prospects. He came in. He worked hard. He took advantage of his opportunities most. That's what we want our guys to do. So it speaks a lot about him."
Minnesota used it in the same way it intended to use Karl-Anthony Towns in the coming season, both on offensive and defense. Reid is simply a perfect fit in the modern NBA. It's not the kind of guy you're doing two-way contracts.
So, on Thursday, as Wolve's officially presented draft chooses Culver and Nowell to Twin Cities, Rosas also announced that the team had written Reid for a multi-year contract.
Reid's business is for four years and values up to $ 6.1 million. The first year of the contract is guaranteed.
"It's an early fruit of our work," Rosas said. "We identified a player who went undrafted as we considered a valuable player in terms of our board. To be able to bring him into the program, evaluate him and see him play in our style and see how productive and talented he is, We are very fortunate that we could work something that worked for him and worked for us and let us invest more in him and develop him at a high level. We are happy about that success and our staff deserve a lot of credit for it. "
Rosas noted that getting a guy like Reid is essentially like Minnesota has another pick in the draft. The wolves feel happy he landed on his knees.
"We were very happy," Rosas said. "We had to fight off other teams. It wasn't like anyone else was interested in him. We could do it. We believed in Naz and our vision and how we want to play and what we want to do."
The fact that Wolves got a steal became evident even before the Summer League. Wolves coach Ryan Saunders knew it during the team's minicamp before the Las Vegas competition.
"You see his talent and you see what he can be, especially 19 years, you see the upside, Saunders said." You have him in two ways, you see him play more games, and it's probably smart to lock him , because we see what he could be – his sense of the game, his ability to shoot the ball, his ability to finish inside, and we also liked his attitude. "
Writing Reid on a multi-year contract was not a decision that Minnesota rushed into. Together with watching his Summer League performances, Rosa's and Saunders spent plenty of time with Reid in Las Vegas. They got to know him through Excursions and dinners and enjoyed what they saw and heard, including an underrated maturity level. "" We love his talent level, "said Rosas." We love who he is as an individual.
The person Reid continues to evolve. Even this drafting process helped shape him. Reid said he was not disappointed to go away, but it humbled him and created a "big chip on my shoulder."
"I say this in the most difficult way: do not feel that there are many guys who can compare with me in certain aspects, says Reid. "I'm just glad I get a chance to prove it."
Reid entered the Summer League and appreciated showing exactly what he could do. In a competition setting, he dominated. Reid averaged 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in just 18 minutes a game.
"I just tried to play the best of my abilities," Reid said. "Do the things I can do, more right than wrong, put me in predicaments and help the team out in many ways as I could. I am blessed that I have the opportunity to do this soon. I am excited, and I am ready to come to work. "
Will Reid work consistently? It is a question he asked for the preparations. He was criticized for giving less than 100 percent at given times earlier in his career. But unlike many teenagers, Reid acknowledges his shortcomings and is willing to fix them. This, Reid noted, is a new start.
"I may have played in high school, college," Reid said during his press conference on Thursday. "Now all the efforts in me will appear on the floor."
At that time, Saunders almost leaned over to Reid to deliver a message, but instead shared it with the media.
"You are right, you will not play, because you are a professional and that is what we expect and that is what we will demand in this organization," said Saunders. "But with that we want to be one action-over-words team. He said it and Gersson and I are on the same page in the sentence where it sounds good, but we have to make sure that we act on these words. "
If his words really translate into actions, when the talented, undrafted big man could potentially go down as one of the draft of the night's greatest steal.
" He has tools and talent and skill to be a very special player . What he showed in the summer league just squeezes on the surface, says Rosas. "When his body improves with his skill, heaven is the limit."