Naz Reid’s NBA dreams didn't become reality Thursday night — but it didn't stay that way for long.
The 6-foot-10 power forward, the Tigers’ first one-and-done player since Ben Simmons turned pro in 2016, was not chosen with any of the 60 selections in the 2019 NBA draft. Just minutes after the draft ended, Reid had agreed to a two-way deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Reid, a native of Asbury Park, New Jersey, was projected as high as the early second round in many mock drafts.
The fall was stunning for Reid, considering the McDonald’s All-American was being projected to go in the lottery as one of the draft’s first 14 picks when he came to LSU last June.
However, questions about his motor and how hard he played caused him to slip in mock drafts throughout his only collegiate season in Baton Rouge.
Reid's teammate Tremont Waters was the only LSU player chosen in the draft and heard his name called at No. 51 overall by the Boston Celtics.
Tremont Waters — all 5-feet, 9 inches of him — is now an NBA player.
While LSU coach Will Wade often complimented Reid for his hustle in games and willingness to remain in drills in practice sessions, Reid dropped into the second half of the first round in late March and into the top half of the second round recently.
Still, Reid was one of the keys to LSU’s 28-7 campaign that produced the school’s first Southeastern Conference regular-season title in a decade — earning him All-Freshman team honors from the league’s coaches.
Reid also helped LSU to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, the first time that's happened since 2006.
A member of Kyle Macy's Freshman All-America team chosen for CollegeInsider.com, Reid was LSU’s second-leading scorer at 13.7 points a game while shooting 46.8 percent from the field.
He also averaged a team-high 7.2 rebounds.
Reid was especially effective late in the season when he averaged 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds over the final 14 games with seven double-doubles.
The specifics of Reid's deal were not disclosed. Two-way contracts were instituted in the 2017 offseason when NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players.
NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and no more than 45 days with their NBA team. Two-Way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are able to sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.
Another former LSU star, Antonio Blakeney, was the first player in the NBA to sign such a deal.
Reid's path will also not be unlike former LSU shooting guard Brandon Sampson, who played three years in Baton Rouge before going undrafted in 2018. The Baton Rouge native eventually signed a two-way contract with the Chicago Bulls and appeared in 14 games in the 2018-'19 season, averaging 5.1 points.
Reid will likely take part in the NBA Summer League, which is scheduled to begin on July 5.
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