While the preseason hasn’t even started, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to take a look at some NBA Draft prospects. The first several of these will look at lottery picks even if they may not be in the range of the Spurs’ potential pick.
While Las Vegas doesn’t think the team will make the playoffs, and the latest odds at Novibet Sports may be the same, just about everyone disagrees with that prediction and believes the Spurs will be picking outside of the lottery once again. So without further ado, we get to today’s prospect to watch in LSU’s Naz Reid.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound big man is surprisingly graceful and pretty skilled for someone his size. He’s drawn comparisons to DeMarcus Cousins in how he moves and his style of play. He can shoot from outside, get to the rim and handle the ball pretty well. He also happens to have a flair for the dramatic as he showed on several occasions playing in his high school league in New Jersey.
He’s going the Shaq route of playing for an LSU team that really had no business landing him were it not for the superior recruiting prowess of second-year coach Will Wade. It’s a bit interesting considering he could have played at any Big East or other powerhouse school since he does hail from New Jersey. However, he will be on what should be one of the better teams in the SEC this year. He will have to show that bullying those smaller kids up north translates to Power 5 ball and putting up big numbers against much better opponents.
Reid already has a body ready for the NBA as he’s got a strong base, isn’t too heavy and will likely lean out a bit and gain some muscle in his time at LSU. It remains to be seen how complete his post game is, but he does get to the rim often. He’s also a solid mid-range shooter with clear potential to extend his range. The only thing he’ll need to do is quicken his shot a bit and it should translate at the next level.
The current Tiger is a strong, coordinated big man who can get up and down the floor well. He operated as his high school team’s point guard at times and has shown flashes of being a good passer down the road. With his flair for the dramatic comes a penchant for turnovers as well though. If he can cut down on those, he will be right as rain and should have some of the better assist numbers in the conference, at least for a big man.
There are certainly plenty of areas for improvement as Reid needs to be a smarter defender at times. He also is a bit slow and can be flat-footed on defense at times since his high school liked to play in a zone. He won’t have to cover much smaller, quicker players at the collegiate level, but he will have to get better if he doesn’t want a bad reputation on that side of the ball. He’s gotten comparisons to Julius Randle, though he is a bit bigger and probably a little more advanced in his ball handling than Randle was at this age.
He’s also not really a great jumper or leaper, but that hasn’t stopped him racking up blocks during his high school career. He should be expected to do the same thing for LSU this season and hopefully will be a little smarter with coaching from Wade. He’ll also have a great guard feeding him in Tremont Waters so we may not see his ball handling skills displayed as much this season either.