Clippers Trade Rumors: Timberwolves center being pursued?

Tyronn Lue LA Clippers (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Tyronn Lue LA Clippers (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers
Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves. Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images /

The fit on the Clippers

The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a tough position. They have a homegrown center on a max contract in Karl-Anthony Towns, and they traded nearly all of their assets for another center on a max contract in Rudy Gobert. That’s more money than anyone else in the NBA is spending on their centers.

The Clippers aren’t going to trade for either of those centers and nor should they. Yet the crunch in Minnesota is going to have an effect on Naz Reid, the Wolves’ “3rd-string” center who has been playing big minutes in the absence of Towns to injury. Reid will be a free agent this summer, in line for a new contract that the Wolves absolutely cannot afford to give him.

Reid, a 6’9″ center out of LSU, is built like a truck. He is almost impossible to move off of his spot, and while he isn’t going to sky in for athletic blocks out of nowhere, his reach and size allow him to stay close enough to opponents to block a good number of shots. He averaged two blocks per 36 minutes both this season and for his career.

On offense, Reid is a willing floor spacer, shooting 5.5 3-pointers per 36 minutes and hitting 33.3 percent of them this season. He can rebound, he has good touch inside (65.7 percent on 2-pointers) and overall has been a positive player for the Timberwolves this season.

He could slot in immediately as the backup center, giving the Clippers some floor-spacing on offense while still deploying a large body for both screening and rebounding. Defensively, Reid gives them heft inside to take on larger centers and spare the bodies of Batum and Morris. He checks most of the boxes for the Clippers on their backup-center-wishlist.