#0 F/C LSU Tigers – Freshman
DoB: August 26, 1999
Nazreon Reid, a New Jersey native, currently plays center and power forward for the LSU Tigers in the Southeastern Conference. Immediately, Reid’s lack of traditional athleticism is concerning in regard to his defensive potential; however, his fluidity and unconventional ball skills for a 6-10 center stand out as his most immediate attraction as an NBA prospect.
One of the most skilled centers in the 2019 draft class, Nazreon Reid boasts a strong assortment of ball handling crossovers and offensive scoring moves. In addition, Reid also possesses an unnatural quickness and fluidity despite his large frame and heavier weight. As opposed to utilizing the post-up like many traditional centers at his size, Reid’s main source of attack is off the pick and pop. His ability to stretch the floor has added another dimension to LSU’s offense as his spot-up shooting pairs well with slashing guard Skylar Mays. More often than not, a strong closeout by the opposing center does not deter Reid, as it allows him to break down the defender with his herky-jerky handles that allow him to either finish softly at the rim or pass out to open shooters with the defense closing out.
More importantly, Reid has flashed tremendous stretch five capabilities. While he is only stroking in about 30.3% of his attempts, Reid’s stroke is natural and smooth and he has shown the willingness and confidence in his shot to take long threes several feet behind the line. Passing wise, Reid is an adept passer off the move and from the post. It’s common for him to skip 30-foot passes from the post to shooters on LSU. Furthermore, he has demonstrated an uncanny ability to break down his defender from the perimeter and shoot quick passes into the perimeter for an open shot. Offensively, Reid has yet to prove himself due to a lack of consistency; however, his expanding skillset – which far outreaches that of a traditional NBA center- should have scouts salivating over his offensive potential in the NBA.
On the other hand, defense poses as Reid’s most significant weaknesses. Already a point of attack for the opposing offense in the pick and roll, Reid’s lack of defensive awareness in switching and containing makes it difficult for LSU coach Will Wade to play his five-star center for significant minutes down the stretch. To compound the issue, it does not inspire much confidence in NBA scouts knowing that Reid’s bulky frame and slow feet magnifies his defensive weakness and limits his defensive upside. Coaches will have to hope Reid’s 250lb frame could eventually become a serviceable positional defender down low. Still, his inability to cover and contain quicker guards off the pick and roll will no doubt be one of the main factor scouts will criticize.
During DraftExpress’s interview, Nazreon Reid likens his style of play to that of a ballhandling guard as opposed to a traditional center. To a certain extent, this comment is concerning, as already his defensive abilities as a center is a debilitating liability to LSU. To project Reid’s future in the NBA is difficult. His transcendent guard play for a big draw comparison to players like Chris Webber and Lamar Odom; Nonetheless, his jarring lack of defensive discipline and weakness, along with his inconsistencies on offense muddies the water for an all-star to be drafted out of LSU this year.