Malik Beasley

Jazz’s Beasley Discusses Trade Rumors, Hardy, Future, More

After being traded from Minnesota to Utah over the summer, Jazz wing Malik Beasley came into the season with aspirations of becoming an All-Star, he tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

While Beasley acknowledges that making the All-Star Game as a reserve probably isn’t happening, he said he was happy to come off the bench and hopes to make a run at the Sixth Man of the Year award.

“As a seven-year veteran, I can (come off the bench) for my team and understand the role,” Beasley said. “I’m at a point in my career where I want to make money, but I also want to win. I’m down for sacrificing the starting position role and doing the best I can to prove to my team that we’re all in this together.”

Beasley, who will turn 26 this Saturday, added that another one of his goals is to earn a spot in this season’s three-point contest — he has made a strong case for consideration so far, knocking down 3.2 three-pointers per game at a 41.4% rate. He tells Scotto that if the Jazz keep winning, he expects the home team to be well represented at All-Star weekend in Utah.

“If we stay in the top three, I feel like we can get two All-Stars in Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson,” Beasley said. “If we finish first or second, we can get me in the three-point contest and Kelly Olynyk in the skills challenge. When we go into the locker room or the plane, we always say us four guys are the most likely to get those nods.”

Here are a few more highlights from Beasley’s conversation with Scotto, which is worth checking out in full for the swingman’s thoughts on the Jazz exceeding their outside expectations, his goals for the rest of his career, and much more:

On being involved in trade rumors once again this season:

“I’ve been in the league for seven years, so I understand there are going to be rumors. If it happens, it happens. I think the main thing I realized is that I can only control what I can control. If something happens, prove to the next team why they chose you and why the other team shouldn’t have traded you.”

On his impressions of first-time head coach Will Hardy:

“He’s a great guy, truly. I’m not just saying that. It makes it even better that he’s young. Sometimes, when we’re in the locker room, he’ll call us ‘bro,’ or we call him ‘bro.’ It’s not just a regular head coach thing. He treats us like we’re family.

“He’s always telling us to have fun. Whenever you make mistakes on the court, for a first-time head coach, you don’t get that a lot. Usually, if a guy messes up, it’s a scream because people want to prove that everybody wants to win so badly. Coach wants to be great. He wants everyone to have fun. If you make a mistake, that’s the game of basketball. He even admits his own mistakes. It shows how great he is as a coach. I believe he should get Coach of the Year.”

On his future in Utah and the team’s $16.52MM option on him for 2023/24:

“I would love for them to pick that option up for me to continue my journey here in Utah. If not, then I’ve got to make the best of it. I’m very thankful for this landing spot since I came here. There are a lot of great people here in Utah and a great fan base. I think it’s the perfect opportunity to show I’m a changed man in Utah. It’s a place where big-name players usually wouldn’t come here, but I don’t know why. Once you come out here, you’ll have a great time.”

Jazz Rumors: Conley, Markkanen, Vanderbilt, Beasley, Collins, More

The severity of Mike Conley‘s knee injury could have an impact on which direction the Jazz go in their various trade talks, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who notes that a significant drop-off in Utah’s play with Conley unavailable may make the team more inclined to sell — especially if the veteran point guard ends up sidelined for multiple weeks, as was originally rumored.

For the time being, Fischer says, the Jazz appear intent on keeping forward Lauri Markkanen, who is enjoying a breakout season, and guard Jordan Clarkson, who is believed to be a better candidate for an extension than a trade. The club has also established a “high” asking price for forward Jarred Vanderbilt, Fischer adds.

That would leave Conley, swingman Malik Beasley, and center Kelly Olynyk as the most likely veteran trade candidates in Utah, according to Fischer, though he acknowledges that Olynyk is a favorite of Jazz CEO Danny Ainge.

Here’s more on the Jazz from Fischer:

  • League sources tell Yahoo Sports that Utah’s interest in Hawks big man John Collins is legitimate. However, Atlanta didn’t gain any traction after inquiring about a Markkanen/Collins swap, and it seems unlikely that Collins will end up with the Jazz, Fischer writes.
  • While Conley’s $22.68MM cap hit would be the best straight-up match for Collins’ $23.5MM figure, Fischer doesn’t expect the Hawks to have much interest in Conley, given that they already have two star point guards in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Beasley would be a more logical candidate to be included in any Jazz deal for Collins, per Fischer.
  • Sources tell Fischer that the Jazz have been looking to move Rudy Gay, who is averaging career worsts so far this season in points per game (4.5), minutes per game (15.8), and field goal percentage (36.2%), among many other categories. Gay is earning $6.18MM in 2022/23 and is considered highly likely to pick up his $6.48MM player option for ’23/24, so he’ll have negative trade value.

Mike Conley Sidelined By Left Knee Strain

5:56pm: Conley could return sooner than two weeks, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. His injury will be reevaluated when the Jazz return to Salt Lake City on Tuesday after the team faces the Clippers on Monday.

4:39pm: Veteran Jazz point guard Mike Conley will miss at least two weeks due to a left knee strain, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The franchise is actually relieved the injury isn’t worse. Conley, who underwent an MRI on Sunday, avoided ligament damage during the non-contact injury that occurred after he played nine minutes against Portland on Saturday. Conley said he felt his leg lock up as he tried to get around a screen.

Conley is averaging 10.2 points and 7.9 assists per game for the surprising Jazz this season. He’s battled numerous injuries in recent seasons, though he was able to start 72 regular season games for Utah in 2021/22. During the six previous seasons, four with Memphis and two with Utah, Conley appeared in 70 or more games just once.

Collin Sexton figures to take Conley’s starting spot for the time being, though Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Malik Beasley and even Talen Horton-Tucker could see more backcourt time.

Northwest Notes: Timberwolves, Braun, Jokic, Vanderbilt, Beasley

The 1-1 Timberwolves are continuing to adjust to their new-look roster as the 2022/23 season gets going, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

“The smaller we go, the better it is for me,” star Minnesota shooting guard Anthony Edwards said after the team’s 132-126 overtime loss to the rebuilding Jazz Friday night. Given that the team’s highest-paid players are seven-foot frontcourt starters Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, Krawczynski notes that this is a loaded statement.

“I have to get him the ball more,” head coach Chris Finch said of Edwards. “We ran a couple things to get the ball in his hands. And then, again, the ball got sticky. We tried to play through KAT there. But he’s got to get some looks. That’s on me.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Nuggets rookie shooting Christian Braun seems to be carving out a solid bench role already, having logged a productive 23 minutes as a reserve for the Warriors, writes Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. The 21-year-old Braun, selected out of Kansas in this year’s draft with the No. 21 pick, has emerged as a multi-faceted defender, and could prove to be a vital role player for a team with championship aspirations.
  • Reigning two-time Nuggets MVP Nikola Jokic, one of the league’s best passers, looks set to thrive surrounded by sharpshooting colleagues, notes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. New additions Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Braun raved about the depths of the center’s hoops knowledge. “Jok is unbelievable,” Caldwell-Pope said. Braun added: “You try to learn from him because he knows your spot probably better than you do.”
  • Jazz role players Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley have already been through their share of rebuilds, and hope to use their wealth of experience to help guide the youth movement in Utah, writes Sarah Todd of Deseret News. “Just trying to bring those same qualities and pretty much we’re in the same boat, trying to rebuild and establish a culture and create winning habits,” Vanderbilt said. “[W]e’ve been on three programs [with the Nuggets and the Timberwolves] that before we got there they weren’t playoff contending teams. “We ended up helping be a part of rebuilds and being a part of changing culture. This is not new for us.”

Injury Notes: Zion, Grizzlies, Raptors, Beasley, Bagley

Pelicans star Zion Williamson, who left a preseason game early last week with left ankle soreness and subsequently missed the finale, was a full participant in practice on Monday, per head coach Willie Green (Twitter link via ESPN’s Andrew Lopez). Green sounded non-committal about Williamson’s status for Wednesday’s regular season opener, but Williamson put speculation to rest by stating, “I’m playing Wednesday,” as Lopez tweets.

The 22-year-old former No. 1 overall pick looks to be in great shape for 2022/23 after missing all of last season with a broken foot, so hopefully the ankle issue is as minor as it seems.

Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said the team is hoping to get some 5-on-5 work in for Jaren Jackson Jr. “in the next couple of weeks,” tweets Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jackson underwent foot surgery at the end of June and will miss the start of the regular season. Jenkins also said second-year wing Ziaire Williams missed practice on Monday with a non-COVID illness in addition to knee soreness, and his status for the season opener is up in the air (Twitter link via Michael Wallace of
  • Raptors big man Chris Boucher, who’s dealing with a hamstring injury, was able to practice today and the team is hopeful he’ll be ready for the opener on Wednesday, per head coach Nick Nurse (Twitter link courtesy of Sportsnet’s Michael Grange). Eric Koreen of The Athletic relays (via Twitter) that free agent addition Otto Porter (hamstring) did not participate in practice and Koreen expects him “to be out for a little bit.”
  • According to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link), Jazz shooting guard Malik Beasley recently said his sprained left ankle feels “completely healed” he and expects to play in Wednesday’s season opener. Beasley was acquired from Minnesota this offseason in the Rudy Gobert deal.
  • Marvin Bagley III admits “it was a little scary” when he suffered a sprained MCL and bone bruise in his right knee during preseason last week, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscription required). “When I did it, all types of stuff was running through my mind,” Bagley said. “It was something I couldn’t have really prevented. It happened so fast. That feeling, I never felt it before. Getting up and not being able to put pressure on it, it was a little scary for me. God had his hands on me; had His arms around me, so that’s all I can ask for.” The big man added that he’s not going to rush the rehabilitation process and will only suit up for the Pistons when he’s ready, but he’s feeling progressively better every day.

Lakers Rumors: Westbrook, Role, Ham, Trade Talks, Schröder

Despite the recent additions of Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schröder, Russell Westbrook is increasingly likely to remain on the Lakers‘ roster, according to Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

However, sources tell The Athletic that Westbrook’s role might change, with the team “strongly” considering having the former league MVP come off the bench in 2022/23. New head coach Darvin Ham has the “full backing” of the organization to determine lineups for the upcoming season, and Westbrook will have to outperform his new teammates during minicamp, training camp and the preseason to remain the Lakers’ starting point guard, Buha and Amick write.

Unless the Lakers can find a trade that they believe makes them a legitimate title contender, Westbrook is “highly likely” to stay on the roster, sources tell The Athletic.

A major part of that line of thinking is the Lakers want to keep their financial and trade options open for ’23/24, when they project to have $30MM+ in cap room for free agency, per Buha and Amick. Westbrook is on an expiring contract worth $47.1MM, and the Lakers have been reluctant to trade their 2027 and/or 2029 first-round picks to offload him.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Los Angeles is banking on Ham being able to optimize Westbrook’s talent — and get through to him in a way that Frank Vogel couldn’t — as well as a return to health for Anthony Davis in order for the ’22/23 season to be successful, sources tell Buha and Amick.
  • According to Buha and Amick, the Lakers discussed a four-team trade with the Jazz, Knicks and Hornets prior to Donovan Mitchell being dealt to Cleveland, with an early framework sending Bojan Bogdanovic and Terry Rozier to L.A.
  • Los Angeles continues to show interest in Bogdanovic, with The Athletic’s duo reporting that Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley have been included in recent talks with Utah for Westbrook. However, a deal is considered unlikely because of the aforementioned reasons — the Lakers don’t want to part with first-rounders and Clarkson has a $14.3MM player option for ’23/24 that would eat into the team’s potential cap room.
  • Along the same lines, Buha and Amick write that dealing Westbrook to the Pacers for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, which has been rumored multiple times, is also “not expected” — Hield has a $19.3MM cap hit in ’23/24.
  • Schröder made an Instagram post expressing his excitement about returning to the Lakers, saying that he wanted to “make s–t right!” Schröder’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, tells Mark Medina of (Twitter link) that the team informed Schröder that “there will be a lot of minutes for everybody” despite a crowded backcourt.

Jazz Notes: Bogdanovic, Clarkson, Beasley, Sexton, Conley

The Jazz believe Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley are each worth first-round picks in a potential trade, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his podcast, The Lowe Post (hat tip to HoopsHype). Utah acquired Beasley as part of this offseason’s Rudy Gobert trade, while Bogdanovic and Clarkson have spent multiple seasons with the team.

While all three players have value, it’s unclear if Utah will be able to net first-round picks for each. It also remains to be seen whether the Jazz will make another trade before the season starts, but since the team has moved Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, other veterans may eventually be dealt. Utah also has Mike Conley and Rudy Gay under contract.

Here are some other notes from Utah today:

  • Speaking of a potential Jazz fire sale, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report examines which players may be traded next. As mentioned, Utah has a group of veterans that could be acquired for a slightly cheaper price now that the team is rebuilding, though it’s unknown who may be dealt and when.
  • Sarah Todd of the Deseret News explores why fans should be excited about Collin Sexton. The 23-year-old agreed to a four-year, $71MM deal as part of a sign-and-trade with the Jazz, who added him to a young nucleus of players and draft picks.
  • In a separate article for the Deseret News, Sarah Todd takes a look at whether the team could move forward with Conley remaining on the roster. Conley will turn 35 years old next month and appeared in 72 games last season, averaging 13.7 points and 5.3 assists per outing.

Jazz Continue To Engage In Trade Discussions

The Jazz have traded three starters from last year’s roster so far this offseason, but even after moving Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Royce O’Neale for a boatload of draft picks, the team isn’t necessarily done with its offseason work.

According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Jazz continue to engage in trade conversations about a number of their remaining veterans, including Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson.

In the latest episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report confirms that Bogdanovic, Conley, and Clarkson are “definitely on the trade block.” Fischer says he has also gotten the impression that the Jazz would “love to move off” Rudy Gay and has heard Leandro Bolmaro‘s name come up in some trade rumors.

Even beyond those five players, Utah would likely be willing to listen to inquiries on many others members of their roster, including Malik Beasley, according to Fischer. Jarred Vanderbilt is another player the club could theoretically move, though Fischer says a team might have to “knock Utah’s socks off” to acquire the young forward.

Based on the deals they’ve made so far this summer, it’s safe to assume the Jazz would be prioritizing draft assets as they continue to gauge the trade market.

Among Utah’s veterans, Bogdanovic might be the one with the most trade value. He’s on a reasonable $19.55MM expiring contract and is a talented frontcourt scorer, having averaged 18.4 PPG over the last three seasons (204 games) with the Jazz. The 33-year-old forward is also a major threat from beyond the arc — he has made at least 38.7% of his three-point tries in each of the last five seasons.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reported on Thursday that the Suns had inquired on Bogdanovic, but Phoenix is hardly the only team with interest. Gambadoro tweeted late last night that several teams, including the Lakers, are eyeing Bogdanovic.

Any trade sending Bogdanovic to the Lakers would have to involve Russell Westbrook for salary-matching purposes, and would require at least one or two other players to go to Los Angeles — the Jazz would likely try to pry away the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in that scenario, though L.A. has been reluctant to attach more than one first-rounder to Westbrook.

Bogdanovic’s cap hit of nearly $20MM will make it tricky for certain teams to seriously pursue him. For instance, while he might be a good fit in Boston following Danilo Gallinari‘s injury, the Celtics probably can’t make a viable offer for him that doesn’t include at least one key rotation player whose value matches or exceeds Bogdanovic’s.

Pacific Notes: Beverley, Westbrook, Saric, Kings

Since the Lakers traded for veteran point guard Patrick Beverley, the future of 2021/22 starter Russell Westbrook has seemed murky. Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register wonders if the duo can actually share the floor together, or at the very least both stick around on the team this season.

Swanson reads tea leaves in recent public statements from head coach Darvin Ham and team owner Jeanie Buss that seem to suggest they appreciate Westbrook and his contributions to the club last year. Swanson writes that, because Beverley can function so well off the ball as a catch-and-shoot long range sniper, and can defend at least both guard positions, he could theoretically play alongside Westbrook, who tends to be significantly more ball-dominant.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • With Donovan Mitchell headed to the Cavaliers, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times opines that the Lakers could look to move Westbrook (and draft compensation) to the Jazz, who have already offloaded four of their best veteran players in separate deals this summer, including both their All-Stars. Woike writes that combo forward Bojan Bogdanovic should be L.A.’s top priority, and also floats the possibility of adding some combination of Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley and Rudy Gay into such a deal.
  • Suns reserve big man Dario Saric missed all of the 2021/22 season while he recovered from a ruptured ACL in his right knee suffered in the first game of the 2021 Finals. The 6’10” big man played well during the Croatian national team’s FIBA EuroBasket 2025 pre-qualifiers in August, writes Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.
  • Three reserve point guards will be duking it out during the Kings‘ training camp later this month. James Ham of Kings Beat assesses each player in terms of their relative strengths and weaknesses on the current Sacramento roster. As a former lottery pick, defensive-oriented second-year guard Davion Mitchell seems guaranteed to get some run behind pricey starter De’Aaron Fox. Ham predicts that Quinn Cook could have an edge over Matthew Dellavedova as the team’s third point guard option.

Jazz, Knicks Still Far Apart On Donovan Mitchell Trade

Rumors continue to emerge regarding Donovan Mitchell trade talks involving the Jazz and Knicks, but little progress has been made, according to Tony Jones of the Athletic. Appearing Friday on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, Jones was pessimistic that a deal will get done soon.

“I don’t think the two sides are close. I don’t think they have been close,” Jones said. “We’ll see what happens as the urgency of training camp looms. The Jazz want what they want, which is picks out of this deal, and they want young guys on short or rookie contracts.”

Knicks players who fit that definition include Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley, but New York has been unwilling to part with significant young talent in addition to substantial draft assets. Jones said keeping Grimes is a priority for the Knicks, along with veteran guard Derrick Rose, who is a longtime favorite of coach Tom Thibodeau.

“The sense I get right now is it’s probably not going to happen on an imminent level,” Jones added. “The two sides aren’t close. To me, I think if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen closer to training camp or the start of the season. If it doesn’t happen then, we’ll see what happens closer to the February trade deadline.”

There are more Jazz-related notes from the podcast:

  • Matching Mitchell’s salary of $30.35MM for next season becomes trickier if Rose’s $14.52MM contract isn’t involved. Scotto notes that Utah doesn’t want to take on long-term money, which eliminates Julius Randle ($23.76MM) and Evan Fournier ($18MM). Jones said the Jazz don’t have any interest in adding Randle and “I’m not sure there’s much of an appetite for (Cam) Reddish ($5.95MM).” He adds that the Jazz would rather keep Mitchell and hold onto a possible $36-$40MM in cap room for next summer than accept unwanted salary.
  • Looking at the rest of the roster, Jones believes Utah can easily find deals for Bojan Bogdanovic, Jarred Vanderbilt and Patrick Beverley if the team decides to move them before the start of the season. He thinks there’s less of a market for Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley.
  • Udoka Azubuike may have the inside track to be the starting center if Utah trades Mitchell and commits to a youth movement, Jones adds. Sources tell Jones that Azubuike has been working with coaches in Salt Lake City all summer and has been showing improvement. First-round pick Walker Kessler would also be in the mix for the starting job. If the Jazz keep Mitchell and try to make the playoffs, Jones expects them to find a more experienced center in free agency.