Timberwolves C Naz Reid wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year

The Minnesota Timberwolves start two of the best big men in the NBA. The guy behind them isn't too shabby either.

Timberwolves center Naz Reid was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year on Wednesday, the first player in franchise history to receive the honor. Reid beat out finalists Malik Monk of the Sacramento Kings and Bobby Portis of the Milwaukee Bucks.

The margin between Reid and Monk was razor thin — Reid got 45 out of 100 first-place votes while Monk got 43. They both received the same number of second-place and third-place votes, leaving Reid only 10 points ahead for the award. Portis, Norman Powell of the Los Angeles Clippers and Bogdan Bogdanovic all received first-place votes.

The award is recognition of an impressive rise by Reid, who is only the third undrafted player to win the award in its history (John Starks in 1996-97 and Darrell Armstrong 1998-99). The 24-year-old was a five-star recruit who performed well as a freshman at LSU, but concerns about his size (6-foot-9, 250 pounds) and athleticism, plus a rough draft combine, left him unselected in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Reid landed with the Timberwolves as an undrafted free agent and immediately became a productive player as a rookie. He might look or move like a prototypical big man, but his 41.4% shooting from 3-point range made him a valuable asset off the bench this season.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - MARCH 27: Naz Reid #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots against the Detroit Pistons in the third quarter at Target Center on March 27, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Pistons 106-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Naz Reid was one of the top-shooting big men in the NBA this season. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Reid spent most of the season playing behind All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, only starting 14 games after Towns went down with an injury. With that trio managing the paint, the Timberwolves posted their second-best record in franchise history at 56-26 and finished third in the Western Conference in the regular season.

Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers took home the first award with Most Improved Player on Tuesday. Clutch Player of the Year will be announced Thursday and Coach of the Year on Sunday, with Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and MVP to be announced later.