Almost eight months after being hired outside the Denver nuggets as the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly may be able to catch up with his former colleagues in the near future.
Scotto mentioned Nuggets guard Bones Hyland — whom Connelly drafted — and Clippers winger Terance Mann and as potential players sent to Minnesota under a deal that includes Reid.
Mile High Naz?
Any deal involving Reid as the main actor involved is difficult. The USL the product brings in just under $2 million this season, making anything other than a Hyland/Reid or Mann/Reid 1-for-1 a bit tricky.
Those deals are unlikely to happen as the Nuggets will be reluctant to drop their 22-year-old who is under contract for two more years (club option this second year) and will then be a restricted free agent. Reid’s impending unrestricted free agency may be too risky to part ways with a low-wage player like Hyland.
Trading and then re-signing Reid would send Denver further than the luxury tax (already $11 million over the line for 2023-24). So: 1). Extra money would go to Minnesota with Hyland or 2). A third team would be involved to grow the money.
However, in the event that Hyland ends up in Minnesota, head coach Chris Finch would add another young, long scorer with plenty of upside to the rotation. The #26 pick in 2021 NBA Draft is averaging 12.3 points, two rebounds and two assists in 2022-23 in his role as a microwave scorer off the bench.
He’s had a weird last 14 games, because in the last six he’s struggled mightily, averaging 5 PPG on 27% shooting. In the previous eight games, however, 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 over the Timberwolves).
Regardless, the former VCU star and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year is an intriguing prospect who has shown 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 (LA version)
A deal with the Clippers that sends Mann to Minneapolis and Reid to Los Angeles theoretically works like a 1-for-1 trade, but needs a lot of context.
Mann signed a two-year contract, $22 million expansion with the Clippers in October 2021, which kicks off for the 2023-24 season. He’s only making $1.9 million this year, so the 1-for-1 thing works, but Wolves would sign for two years from Mann at around $11 million a year.
In his fourth year in the NBA, the state of florida produced 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 meet Minnesota’s need for perimeter defense.
Reid’s next contract – after an impressive season so far – is unlikely to be also a far cry from what Mann signed for in 2021, so resigning Reid and trading for Mann have similar financial implications for Wolves.
These rumors add to those already involving D’Angelo Russell ahead of the February 9 trade deadline. It’s possible he’ll be sent to a third team on a Mann/Reid or Hyland/Reid deal, which would likely end with Wolves’ future wages as Reid and Russell are set to hit unrestricted free agency after this season.
With extensions looming for Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels – oh, in addition to Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns making $80-100 million a year for the foreseeable future — the Timberwolves have some financial hurdles to jump through, which start with Reid and Russell this summer.