Michael Beasley: Is Time Running Out for the Timberwolves Forward?

J.C. LilleheiContributor IIJanuary 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05:  Michael Beasley #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dunks against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on March 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

When the Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Michael Beasley in the summer of 2010, I was excited. The Wolves were receiving the second overall pick of the 2008 draft for a measly second-round pick, an obvious steal in my mind. Beasley went on to have a good first season with the Wolves that could have been even better if not for a variety of injuries.

However, midway into his second season with the Wolves I’m having serious doubts that he should be part of the Wolves' future. Beasley, before spraining his foot, was having a mediocre season to say the least. Beasley played in the first seven games and averaged 12.9 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 39 percent—numbers that are much lower than his stats from last year (excluding rebounds). Thirty-nine percent shooting is not horrible, but it is by no means a good percentage.

The largest problem I have with Beasley is that he simply does not pass; he takes way too many shots. Many of those shots he takes are early in the shot clock and result in killing momentum that the Wolves build up. It’s equally frustrating considering how good the ball movement of the team is Ricky Rubio. If Beasley was willing to make that "extra" pass it would likely result in a lot better shots and more points.  

That brings me to my main question, is time running out for Michael Beasley?

Since Derrick Williams was drafted back in June this is a question that has been asked many times. The Wolves, as any Wolves fan knows, have a surplus of 3s and 4s. Wesley Johnson, Williams, Beasley, Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph and Anthony Tolliver can play either position.

The Wolves are not going to be trading Love or Williams anytime soon so that leaves four guys who could potentially be traded. Beasley, of those four, is the player with the most potential and thus would command the most in return.

Ideally the Wolves would be able to shop Beasley for a shooting guard like O.J. Mayo or Kevin Martin. This would be a win-win for both parties. The Wolves would get a legitimate scoring option at shooting guard and Beasley would get a chance to prove that he can be the No. 1 option that he wants to be. Beasley, as much as he may want to be the team's star, is not going to be one with the Wolves with Love and Rubio on the team.

As the NBA trade deadline nears, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Beasley’s name emerge in rumors and his eventual departure from the Twin Cities.