Timberwolves' Naz Reid wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award: Why he deserved the honor

Naz Reid is the perfect sixth man in today’s NBA.

He does several things well: scores, rebounds, passes and defends.

After signing a three-year, $41.9 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the offseason, Reid had his best season in his fifth year with Minnesota in 2023-24.

The 6-foot-9 center-forward averaged career highs in points per game (13.5), rebounds per game (5.2) and assists per game (1.3) and shot a career-best 41.4% on 3-pointers in just 24.2 minutes per game. He also shot 47.7% from the field.

When Reid was on the court, the Timberwolves allowed just 105.5 points per 100 possessions, helping make Minnesota the No. 1 defense in the NBA.

On Wednesday, Reid was named the NBA’s 2023-24 Sixth Man of the Year.

He edged Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk by 10 points in the voting. Reid received 45 first-place votes, 39 second-place votes and 10 third-place votes; Monk received 43 first-place votes, 39 second-place votes and 10 third-place votes. It was the closest vote since Detlef Schrempf edged Dan Majerle by one point (in a different voting system) in 1990-91.

Minnesota Timberwolves big man Naz Reid was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year.
Minnesota Timberwolves big man Naz Reid was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year.

Reid, who was not drafted out of LSU in 2019, played in 81 of 82 regular-season games and gave the Timberwolves another valuable big man alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert.

He scored a career-high 34 points against Cleveland on March 8, had two games with 12 rebounds, 20 games with at least two blocks and 16 games with at least two steals.

He is versatile on both ends of the court. Reid, who'd start for several teams in the league, scores inside and outside and can drive to the rim, and he’s quick enough to provide help defense. For a more offensive-minded lineup, Timberwolves coach Chris Finch could pair Reid with Towns, and for a more defensive-minded lineup, Finch could pair him with Gobert.

Reid is the third player to win the award after going undrafted, joining John Starks in 1996-97 and Darrell Armstrong in 1998-99.

Monk and Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis were finalists for the award.

2023-24 NBA Sixth Man of the Year voting results

  1. Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves (352 points)

  2. Malik Monk, Sacramento Kings (342)

  3. Bobby Portis Jr., Milwaukee Bucks (81)

  4. Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers (65)

  5. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks (40)

  6. Jose Alvarado, New Orleans Pelicans (3)

  7. Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers (2)

  8. T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers (2)

  9. Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic (1)

  10. Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat (1)

  11. Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks (1)

  12. Bojan Bogdanovic, New York Knicks (1)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA awards: Timberwolves' Naz Reid named Sixth Man of the Year