Reid making big contributions off the bench

President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has a vision for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

After making big changes to the Wolves’ roster at the 2019-20 trade deadline, Rosas has surrounded All-Stars Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell with a core of promising young talent.

Each Thursday, we’ll be tracking the progress of these young players while also keeping up with the G League Iowa Wolves to see who will rise to the challenge of bringing a consistent, winning team to Minnesota.

This is the 7th edition of the 2020-21 Young Wolves Tracker.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON …

Center Naz Reid

The Minnesota Timberwolves 2020-21 season has not had a ton of welcomed surprises but Reid has been an exception.

Reid, an undrafted rookie out of LSU in 2019, has been one of the Timberwolves’ most consistent players this season and appears to be a hidden gem found by team president Gersson Rosas.

He was a decent addition to the roster in the 30 games he played for Minnesota last season but has become much more of a contributor in his second season. In 31 games so far, Reid is up to 11.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks per game this year and is shooting 50.9% overall and 35.6% from long range.

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He showed off those skills in the past week with 13 points against the Chicago Bulls and 11 against the New York Knicks.

The 6-foot-9 center has proved he can score and score efficiently in the NBA. Reid is also showing off his improvement from year one to year two, since he scored nine points per game and shot 41.2% from the floor as a rookie.

He has put together a good month of February as well, scoring 11.8 points in 19.6 minutes per game. That includes a 29-point performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 6 and a 23-point outing against the Los Angeles Clippers four days later.

WOLF TRACKS

— Malik Beasley poured in at least 25 points in the past two games. The sharpshooter went 10-of-16 and 6-of-9 from 3-point land to finish with 26 points in the Timberwolves’ recent loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and had 25 points on Wednesday against the Bulls. It seems like the four-year, $60 million deal Beasley signed this offseason has worked out to this point.

— Second-year guard Jaylen Nowell also stood out against the Bucks and Bulls. He scored 13 vs. Milwaukee and 12 vs. Chicago while shooting 50% in both games. After spending most of last season in Iowa, Nowell is averaging 8.9 points per game and connecting on 34.4% of his 3-pointers in 2020-21.

— It has not been a banner year for Ricky Rubio, but he reached 18 points in Minnesota’s 103-99 loss to the Knicks on Sunday and 12 points against the Bucks. He is only scoring 7.7 points per game and shooting just 38.5% overall, so those performances must have been a nice change for the former No. 5 overall draft pick.