Wolves' Reid wins NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award

Fellow LSU star Shaquille O'Neal opened the sealed envelope Wednesday and read the NBA's 2024 Sixth Man of the Year winner on national television: Timberwolves big man Naz Reid.

He's the first player in Wolves history to win the award and only the third player undrafted — out of LSU, via New Jersey — to win it, joining only Darrell Armstrong (1999) and John Starks (1997).

Reid edged Sacramento guard Malik Monk by a mere 10 points — 352 to 342 — in voting chosen by a panel of reporters and broadcasters who cover the league. Milwaukee's Bobby Portis finished a distant third. Ballots were due at regular season's end, before last week's play-in tournament.

In doing so, Reid won the John Havlicek Trophy, named after the Boston Celtics' Hall of Famer.

The decision was announced on TNT's playoff pregame show, with Reid interviewed by the studio crew of O'Neal, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and host Ernie Johnson on video conference.

Reid was surrounded off-camera by family members and credited them, his teammates, fans and others close to him, including his late mentor Rudy Roundtree.

"We're all excited," Reid said.

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When asked who helped him get to this honor in his career, Reid said, "Everybody around me. Everybody played a part of my life. There were situations where things were going up and down, Rudy helped guide me in situations I didn't think I'd make it out of.

"I'm blessed to be in this situation."

Reid, 24, averaged 13.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his fifth NBA season. He played 81 of the team's 82 games, and 67 of them were off the bench to provide defense, strength and three-point shooting. He started 14 times, most of them when fellow big man Karl-Anthony Towns was injured in the season's final month.

"When KAT went down, you saw how good he [Reid] can consistently be," Smith said during the broadcast.

A fan favorite at Target Center, Reid called his relationship with the team's fans "special, one of a kind."

"It's something you dream about growing up, especially at the highest level, the NBA," he said. "I changed my body, I changed my mentality since Day 1. That's super special."

The NBA began naming the winners of seven individual postseason awards on Tuesday. Philadelphia's Tyrese Maxey won Most Improved Player, edging out Chicago's Coby White in what was essentially a two-man race.

The Wolves have candidates in two of the five remaining categories yet to be announced: Rudy Gobert is a favorite to win his fourth Defensive Player of the Year and Chris Finch is included among Oklahoma City's Mark Daigneault and Orlando's Jamahl Mosley for Coach of the Year.

In a team statement, Finch said, "We couldn't be more proud of Naz for being named Sixth Man of the Year. His contribution to our team this year is a key reason for our team's success. His growth this season and attention to detail to improve his game were a main factor in Naz becoming the best reserve man in the NBA."

Game times set

The NBA announced first-round playoff Game 5 starting times, if necessary, and in almost every scenario the Wolves would play Phoenix Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. at Target Center.

The exception: If Milwaukee-Indiana and Wolves-Suns are only games being played that night, the Wolves will play at 9 p.m. instead, if a Game 5 is needed after the Wolves swept the first two games at home.

In every situation for Tuesday, the Wolves game will be on TNT.