The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly were prepared to make a contract offer to Naz Reid similar to the one that eventually acquired Max Strus via a sign-and-trade, but Reid chose to re-sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves instead.
Explained this on the pod: 4 yrs/$63M (Max Strus deal) vs. 3 yrs/$42M (what Naz Reid signed for) might seem bigger than it is.
But yeah, I was told Reid was gonna be offered "the Strus money" by Cleveland — though it would be complicated, given Strus was added via sign + trade. https://t.co/TdytXbplXh
— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) July 24, 2023
Strus wound up on the Cavaliers with a four-year deal worth about $63 million in a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat once free agency began. Reid agreed to return to the Timberwolves on a three-year contract worth $42 million before the start of free agency.
Reid would have given Cleveland another young big man to team with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. The 23-year-old plays a similar role in Minnesota behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert and averaged career-highs of 11.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 68 appearances last season.
The Cavaliers have used their offseason to acquire players who can boost their offense, including Strus and Georges Niang, while also re-signing Caris LeVert. They also have added Ty Jerome and Damian Jones and may still be searching for frontcourt depth with reported interest in Christian Wood.
Cleveland reportedly is expecting big things from Mobley in his third NBA season with plans to feature him more in the offense. The Cavaliers also may get an unexpected boost from Craig Porter Jr., an undrafted player who excelled in helping them win the NBA Summer League championship.
Strus is expected to be a big part of the plan as well after averaging a career-high 11.5 points per game for Miami last season. It reportedly is unknown if the 27-year-old will be used in the starting lineup or as an offensive boost off the bench.
Despite losing out on possibly acquiring Reid, the Cavs impressed at least one NBA executive with what they were able to accomplish this offseason and the direction in which they’re headed. ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins also recently said they are too talented not to make the Eastern Conference Finals this season.
It all seems like good news for Cavaliers fans, who have to be impressed that the organization was able to successfully pivot from maybe allocating funds for Reid to being able to sign multiple other effective players this offseason.