Northwest Notes: Beasley, Olshey, Kanter

Michael Beasley believes the Wolves could have been good if the team kept the young players together past the 2011/12 season, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune writes. “For the first three quarters we were one of the best teams in the league and dead last in the fourth,” Beasley said. “It was just us being young, just not being able to finish games. I think if we would have kept that team together, we could have been something special.” Beasley left Minnesota in free agency during the summer of 2012 to sign a three-year, $18MM deal with Phoenix.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • When LaMarcus Aldridge left Portland in free agency, Blazers GM Neil Olshey believed surrounding Damian Lillard with players in his age bracket was the way to rebuild this team. After 70 games, Portland is in good shape to make the playoffs and Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders examines the moves Olshey made to get the team in a great spot.
  • Enes Kanter hasn’t seen the court lately in crunch time for the Thunder and coach Billy Donovan cites the big man’s defense as reason for keeping him off the floor, Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman writes. “I just think [Kanter] needs to continually evolve,” Donovan said. “Because one thing, I looked at the numbers of Enes with the starters and Steven [Adams] with the starters and what those defensive numbers are and they’re drastically different. They just are.” Kanter signed a five-year, $70MM deal with the Thunder last offseason.
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