LAS VEGAS — This time last year, most prognosticators thought Naz Reid would be a first-round draft pick.
Perhaps even a lottery pick.
And just a month ago, those predictions had the LSU forward going at least in the early second round.
None of those happened.
Reid, surprisingly, didn't hear his name called at all on draft night.
But he didn't get discouraged.
"You just have to take another way to try to get there," Reid said. "I actually like it because at the end of the day, you get a chance to prove to everybody that you should've been one of the ones picked. It brings that grit out."
Shortly after the draft ended, Reid agreed to a two-way contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He signed that deal on Thursday, one day before the Timberwolves began summer league play in Las Vegas.
Reid scored seven points and had two rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday and had 9 points and three rebounds on Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks.
The 6-foot-10 forward is averaging 12.5 minutes per game, playing limited minutes as he deals with an injury to his right foot.
"We see that he's got an incredible amount of talent," said Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders. "Every time I tell somebody he just turned 19 years old (last August), they don't believe me. His upside is tremendous, so we really love what he can bring to us."
There were concerns about the 14 percent body fat at the NBA combine. Some scouting reports also questioned if he plays hard enough at all times.
Was Saunders surprised Reid didn't get drafted?
"In this league, nothing surprises me," Saunders said. "There are reasons for things that we might not know. But I am happy he is a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves."
Teams can sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the regular 15-man roster. Players signed to two-way contracts can spend no more than 45 days with the NBA team while spending the rest of the time with the team's G-league affiliate. The Iowa Wolves are Minnesota's G-league affiliate.
Reid says he likes the way he has played so far in the two summer league games.
"Everybody obviously has room for improvement, but I feel like I'm doing pretty good as far as just being a better teammate and playing well," Reid said."I'm not playing as much because of my foot, but I'm just trying to be supportive of my teammates when I'm not out there."
He's shown his ability to step outside and shoot so far, making all three of his 3-point attempts. He's shooting 60 percent from the floor, which was the first thing Saunders mentioned when listing Reid's strengths.
"His ability to shoot the ball," Saunders said. "How he moves. And then he is solid down low. He impressed me in how he's defended. I'm really excited to have him a part of this group."
Kavell Bigby-Williams, Reid's former teammate at LSU, was the first to greet Reid after Sunday's game. Bigby-Williams is currently on the Pelicans' summer league roster.
"It shows that hard work pays off," Reid said. "We just have to keep working every single day and move up. You don't get many opportunities so I just want to make the most of it."