ESPN analyst John Hollinger has been critical of Minnesota general manager David Kahn recently but he is a big fan of the Timberwolves’ trade for Michael Beasley.
I remain stubbornly fond of Beasley despite his struggles in Miami. For starters, he’s played dramatically better as a power forward than a small forward, and hopefully that will be his full-time position in Minnesota. According to 82games.com, Beasley had a PER of 18.9 as a power forward and just 14.9 as a small forward, which is entirely consistent with his advantages as a player — he’s too quick for power forwards to guard, but not quite skilled enough on the blocks to take advantage of small forwards.
Even with that, he’s not exactly chopped liver. He’s averaged better than a point every two minutes for his NBA career and he’s only 21 years old. This is exactly the type of player the Wolves should be looking to snatch as part of their rebuilding project — young, talented players that circumstance places on their doorstep for a pittance.
Meanwhile, Stop-n-Pop of SB Nation’s Canis Hoopus argues that Kahn has gotten a bad rap this summer and says the Beasley trade is a risk-free venture for Minnesota.
As for Mike Beasley, the Wolves get a peak at the 2nd pick in the 2008 Draft for a swap of first rounders with the Heat sometime in the next 7 years. There is literally no downside to this deal. Al Jefferson is on his way out so we don’t have to worry about the logjam at the 4, there will be plenty of minutes for Beasley to showcase whatever chip he should have on his shoulder at this point in his career, and it’s not like the Wolves aren’t getting a guy who still has a massive upside.
There will always be the issue of him getting his head screwed on straight, but the one player I have always viewed as a valid comp for Beasley is a poor man’s Carmelo Anthony.