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Report: Lakers interested in former Timberwolves big man

By Jeff Smith,

2023-05-31

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Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid.

Although the free agency fun doesn't begin in the NBA for another month, officially kicking off on July 1, the rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers have already picked up steam.

Technically, one could argue they began down the final stretch of the postseason, specifically when Kyrie Irving showed up to a pair of the team's playoff games.

While the top free agents and big names such as Irving are always going to drive the most intrigue, the Lakers will be plenty busy in free agency when considering they could have as few as four players remaining on their roster if they choose to, per Spotrac .

Among the looming questions and areas that'll need to be addressed for the Lakers is the center position. It's been widely known that the Lakers prefer to play Anthony Davis at power forward, and while the team has Mo Bamba on a non-guaranteed contract for next season, it's likely they'll add multiple big men.

One name that makes sense is the most recent center linked to Los Angeles, former Minnesota Timberwolves big Naz Reid, which Lakers Daily first reported.

Obviously, anything that comes to light prior to free agency kicking off should be taken with a grain of salt on some level, but this fit would be a good one overall. Reid, who's 23 years old, put together the best season of his career in 2022-23 prior to a wrist injury in late March.

Reid played in 68 games for the Timberwolves last season and averaged career-highs in points per game (11.5), rebounds per game (4.9), and field goal percentage (53.7) over 18.4 minutes per game.

Through four seasons in Minnesota, Reid has posted averages of 10.1 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 50.5% from the field.

The Lakers' need in the front court in terms of depth and players who can contribute off the bench can't be understated ahead of the 2023 offseason.

Aside from Bamba, who remains a question mark in terms of whether he'll be a rotational member for the Lakers or even a possible trade candidate, the Lakers have Davis and forward Jarred Vanderbilt as the only other front-court players currently on the roster.

Reid can shoot the ball, hasn't struggled terribly with turnovers, and has a knack for finding the bottom of the hoop when he's on the floor. Regardless of how you view the Lakers' outlook late last season, it's hard to argue they wouldn't have benefitted from another big man off the bench who could score. Reid would fill the role instantly and be a great option with the second unit.

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