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Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns, Noah Vonleh impressed with Naz Reid, says he should’ve been a ‘lottery pick’

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The Minnesota Timberwolves got a steal in undrafted rookie Naz Reid, and the team’s established players are baffled with his level of play and his draft position, most notably Karl-Anthony Towns and Noah Vonleh.

Jace Frederick of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press had wonderful words to say about the big man, and Vonleh asked the question many Wolves fans who are impressed by him have on their heads for the longest time.

“I just always ask myself, ‘How’d this kid not go in the lottery?’ ” Vonleh said.

Towns, the team’s franchise big man, shared his thoughts on the 20-year-old rookie who was undrafted out of LSU.

“He’s very talented, he’s very versatile,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “His ability to do so many things and have such a big body like he possesses is a huge asset to his game and to us, as well, as a team.”

The team’s coaching staff was also head over heels for him and is delighted to get him on board. However, they’re under no illusion that he’ll be able to contribute immediately.

“I think it’ll take some time. Naz is young. He’s really young,” Wolves coach Ryan Saunders said. “But he’s a guy that … can do different things. He’s a big body. Needs to continue to clean up his rebounding. That’s something we really need from a guy who’s playing the five position, obviously, and we’re playing smaller. He’ll continue to grow, but I don’t want to put a timetable on when he’d be getting minutes in a real game environment.”

Reid was a strong performer in his first and only season with the Tigers. He played 34 games and averaged 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks. He’s expected to be a terrific performer off the bench as the team tries to reach the playoffs in the competitive Western Conference.