There are a handful of undrafted players who have managed to make a name for themselves in the NBA through the years and the latest member of this club of overachievers is the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Naz Reid.

The 6’9 center was undrafted coming out of LSU in 2019, but still managed to land a two-way contract with Minnesota in that same offseason. Reid was stellar as a rookie, averaging nine points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 30 games, and has not looked back since. He slowly emerged as a potent offensive threat through the years and his hard work finally paid off this season where he was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

The five-year veteran appeared in 81 games this season, coming off the bench in 67 of them, and averaged 13.5 points, 2.1 three-pointers, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks in only 24.2 minutes. He has swung several games in the Timberwolves’ favor with his ability to score from literally anywhere on the court. This year, he has scored 30 points on two occasions and had 12 other games with at least 20 as he became the team’s top reserve in their best season since 2004.


Minnesota finished the regular season with a 56-26 record that earned them third place in the West which definitely boosted Reid’s case in the race for this award. The 24-year-old center won the award over Malik Monk of the Sacramento Kings by a mere two first place votes. If the Timberwolves had been any worse–or if the Kings were just slightly better–it is not far-fetched to believe that some votes could have tilted to Monk’s favor.

The late season injury of Karl-Anthony Towns also opened up more playing time for Reid down the stretch which allowed him to put up strong performances right before the voters cast their ballots. However, several of his best games this season came as a fill-in starter for Towns and this sparked some debate over his case to win the award. Meanwhile, Monk missed Sacramento’s last nine regular season games and this string of poor luck likely contributed to his defeat.

Reid became the first player in Minnesota franchise history to be named the Sixth Man of the Year. He is just the third undrafted player to be named the Sixth Man of the Year, joining guards John Starks (1997) and Darrell Armstrong (1999) while he is also the third center to win this award after Bill Walton (1986) and, more recently, Montrezl Harrell (2020).

With the Timberwolves back at full strength in this postseason, Reid has returned to his reserve role where the team will need him to continue putting up prolific scoring performances if they are to make a deep run. Minnesota’s strength over the past few seasons has been its frontcourt size,albeit it is Towns and Rudy Gobert who are often attributed to this success. Reid has been just as crucial though and now that he has been recognized as the 2024 Sixth Man of the Year, he should finally get the credit that he deserves for their success.