Malik Beasley

Western Notes: Beasley, Hollins, Nuggets, Whiteside, Parker

Replacing Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley during his suspension will have to be a team effort, Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune writes.

Beasley was recently issued a 12-game suspension for conduct stemming from his charges last offseason. He’s averaged 20.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32 games this season, meaning several players will likely have to step up in his absence.

“I see it as a great opportunity,” guard Jaylen Nowell said. “I’m not going to go out and force anything. I’m not going to go out there looking to put up more shots, just step outside myself. I’m going to keep playing the way I’m playing and make sure I’m not going to overthink it.

“But we’ve got other guys that are trying to step up, too. They’ve got opportunities, too, including myself. So it’s making sure that not just one person picks up the slack, but we all have to do it collectively, as a group.”

Here are some other notes from the Western Conference:

  • Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins isn’t expected to return to the bench until after the All-Star break, according to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). Hollins, a former NBA head coach, has missed the past four games due to personal reasons.
  • Mike Singer of the Denver Post explores five players the Nuggets should consider pursuing before the March 25 trade deadline. Singer mentions Magic swingman Terrence Ross, Spurs star DeMar DeRozan and others as potential options for the Nuggets, who currently hold an 18-15 record.
  • Kings center Hassan Whiteside and forward Jabari Parker are still out due to the league’s health and safety protocols, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California (Twitter link). Chimezie Metu also remains out with a broken wrist. Sacramento (13-20) is set to play Charlotte (15-17) on Sunday, having lost nine of its last 10 games.

NBA Suspends Malik Beasley For 12 Games

The NBA is suspending Timberwolves swingman Malik Beasley for 12 games, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The suspension arrives a little over two weeks following Beasley’s recent sentencing stemming from charges related to an incident last September.

Before ruling on a suspension, the league wanted to look at sentencing documents related to Beasley’s hearing, per Chris Hine of the Star Tribune (via Twitter).

The 6’4″ shooting guard out of FSU pled guilty to making threats of violence with reckless disregard to risk, after he was accused of pointing a rifle at a pregnant woman, her husband and their teenage daughter in a vehicle outside his home. Beasley was dealt a 120-day sentence in the Hennepin County Workhouse with work release and a home confinement option. He is set to begin serving out the sentence when the 2020/21 season ends.

Despite the legal case, the Timberwolves opted to retain Beasley, who was a restricted free agent, in the 2020 offseason. He was re-signed to a four-year, $60MM deal.

Beasley released a statement, per Charania (Twitter link), to address the new suspension.

“I will take this time to reflect on my decisions,” he said. “I apologize to all the great fans out there who have supported me during this difficult time and I promise I will come back very soon as a better person and player.”

Team president Gersson Rosas issued a statement of his own in response to the league’s decision, according to Jon Krawcyznski of The Athletic (via Twitter): “As an organization, we fully support today’s decision by the NBA. As we work together with Malik to advance his development as a player and a person, we look forward to seeing his growth.”

The 24-year-old Beasley has been enjoying a career season for a struggling 7-26 Minnesota squad. Across 33 games for the Timberwolves (including 32 starts), he is averaging 20.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 0.8 SPG. Beasley’s shooting stats are similarly solid, as he sports a slash line of .455/.406/.847.

With Beasley out of commission, new head coach Chris Finch could look to use greener options to take over as the starting two guard. Second-year guard Jarrett Culver, the No. 6 pick out of Texas Tech in 2019, could get the nod to replace Beasley. Reserve shooting guard Josh Okogie could also see an increased minutes load with Beasley out.

Losing one of their best players over such an extended stretch could also help the Wolves further cement their status as the worst team in the league, giving them solid odds to land a blue-chipper in what is expected to be a loaded 2021 draft class — assuming they can hang onto their top-three protected pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Malik Beasley Sentenced On Violence Charge

Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley received a 120-day sentence in the Hennepin County Workhouse with work release and a home confinement option after pleading guilty to making threats of violence with reckless disregard to risk, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The sentence will be served at the end of the season, and the threats of violence charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor once he completes three years of probation, Charania adds (Twitter link).

“We are very pleased with this outcome that will allow Malik to continue working on becoming a better person and making better choices,” said his attorney, Steve Haney.

The sentence also includes a three-year ban on alcohol and illicit drug use, with regular testing, and a lifetime ban on possessing firearms, writes Paul Walsh of The Star Tribune. A felony drug charge was dismissed as part of Beasley’s plea agreement.

Beasley, 24, was accused of aiming a rifle at a pregnant woman, her husband and their teenage daughter in an SUV outside his home in September. During a video hearing, he expressed remorse for his actions, Walsh adds, but explained that “for several weeks leading up to this incident, day and night, countless vehicles … came up to my house bothering my family and myself. I was worried and in fear for the safety of us and … all this caused me to be frustrated in this situation.”

Beasley’s house was listed on a Parade of Homes tour, even though had asked to have it removed, according to defense attorney Ryan Pacyga. The family was participating in the tour when the incident occurred.

Beasley asked the judge how he could “apologize face-to-face” to the victims and was instructed to write a letter to them and have it delivered. He is banned from having any future contact with the family.

Northwest Notes: SGA, Murray, Beasley, Jazz

Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is looking forward to getting the chance to play Chris Paul and the Suns for the first time this season on Wednesday, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. Paul served as a mentor for Gilgeous-Alexander in Oklahoma City last season, and the two guards have remained close even after CP3 was dealt to Phoenix.

“Obviously me and him built a bond over the past year, to where he’s almost like a brother to me,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We talk about everything. How life’s going, how the teams are doing, how we’re doing.”

Gilgeous-Alexander added that it was a “blessing” to play with a veteran star like Paul last season, and that the bond the two former teammates built has had “even more of an impact than the on-the-court stuff,” per Mussatto.

Here’s more from around the Thunder:

  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray was fined $25K on Wednesday for an incident that occurred during Monday’s win over Dallas, according to an NBA press release. During the third quarter of that game, Murray struck Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. in the groin area. Murray was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and was ejected.
  • After signing a lucrative new long-term deal with the Timberwolves in the offseason, Malik Beasley wants to win the Most Improved Player award and help lead the team to the playoffs this season, as he tells Ben Stinar of Forbes.
  • The Jazz‘s G League affiliate (the Salt Lake City Stars) officially announced its roster for the upcoming season, while the Thunder‘s affiliate (the Oklahoma City Blue) named Bradford Burgess an assistant coach. The Stars’ roster includes Yogi Ferrell, who will be an affiliate player for the Jazz after a brief stint with the Cavaliers earlier this month.

Malik Beasley Enters Guilty Plea On Violence Charge

Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley has entered guilty plea for threats of violence stemming from a late September incident, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter).

As part of the agreement, felony drug charges lodged against him were dismissed, his attorneys Steven Haney and Ryan Pacyga told Charania (Twitter link).

Beasley’s potential incarceration, or home confinement, will not exceed 120 days and will be served at end of this season. Upon successful completion of probation, the threat of violence charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor, Charania adds.

The guilty plea will likely result in league discipline against Beasley. The league typically awaits the outcome of court proceedings before taking action.

Beasley was originally charged with fifth-degree drug possession, along with threats of violence. A family alleged that Beasley pointed an assault rifle at them when they were stopped at the side of the road outside his home.

After obtaining a search warrant for Beasley’s home, officers found three firearms – including one matching the description of the assault rifle – and more than 835 grams of marijuana, according to a statement from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Beasley, who was traded last season from Denver to Minnesota, averaged 20.7 PPG and shot 42.6% on 3-pointers in 14 games with the Timberwolves. He signed a four-year, $60MM contract with the Timberwolves last month after entering the market as a restricted free agent.

Western Notes: Wood, Beasley, Pelicans, Suns Arena

Christian Wood made an impressive preseason debut for the Rockets after missing three games with a sore elbow, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Wood racked up 27 points with 10 rebounds in just 24 minutes. Wood was acquired in a sign-and-trade from the Pistons after agreeing to a three-year, $41MM contract. “It’s one game. It’s preseason. But I left it all out there,” he said. “I felt like I was playing hard. We just have to keep it up.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Malik Beasley should be available for the Timberwolves’ regular-season opener on Wednesday despite his impending court case, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. A court hearing scheduled for this week has been moved to next week and it doesn’t appear the NBA will take any action until the case is settled, Wolfson adds. Beasley faces a pair of felony charges related to a late September arrest for drug possession and threats of violence.
  • The Pelicans will allow approximately 750 fans at home games as the start of the season, the team announced in a press release. Fans will not be allowed to sit within 30 feet of the court. In addition, a limited number of tickets to satisfy player, team and other required NBA obligations was also approved.
  • The Suns have completed 80 percent of their renovations to their arena, according to Kellan Olson of the Arizona Republic. The franchise will able to finish the renovations during the offseason and the building won’t have be to closed next summer, as previously planned.

Northwest Notes: Harrison, Beasley, Maledon, Nuggets

The contract signed by new Jazz guard Shaquille Harrison is non-guaranteed, per John Hollinger of the Athletic. Jazz head coach Quin Snyder also told reporters today that Harrison is currently recovering from a broken hand, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. The newest member of the team is engaging in individual workouts with a single coach at present.

Snyder lauded Harrison’s potential as a defender for the Jazz. “When you watch him play, it jumps out at you that he can defend,” he said.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Newly re-signed Timberwolves shooting guard Malik Beasley is stressing connection and communication in training camp, per Chris Hine of the Star Tribune“Every day I ask [D’Angelo Russell] and Ricky [Rubio] what I can do to be a better playmaker,” Beasley said. He also noted that he and Minnesota star center Karl-Anthony Towns are similarly communicative. “We’ve built a relationship to be able to talk to each other and hold each other accountable. So I think this year is going to be a great year for KAT and the whole unit.”
  • Thunder second-round rookie selection Théo Maledon has signed a four-year, $7.8MM contract, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Maledon will earn a $2MM guaranteed salary in each of the first two years of his new deal, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Smith goes on to note that each of the final two seasons of Maledon’s deal – which comes out of OKC’s mid-level exception – are non-guaranteed, and that the Thunder will have a team option for the fourth year.
  • Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has deemed wing Will Barton “doubtful” for Saturday’s first preseason bout against the Warriors, Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports tweets. Malone also hailed guard PJ Dozier as the “MVP” of Denver’s training camp thus far.

Wolves Notes: Rubio, Beasley, Rosas, Hernangomez

Ricky Rubio didn’t want to go through rebuilding with the Thunder and he doesn’t believe that’s what he’s headed for with the Timberwolves, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. After Phoenix sent him to Oklahoma City in the Chris Paul trade, Rubio asked his agent to find a new destination. The result was a return to Minnesota, the team that drafted him 11 years ago.

The Wolves were just 19-45 last season and were among eight teams not invited to restart the season in Orlando. But Rubio believes the organization has enough quality pieces already in place to make a quick turnaround.

“I don’t feel like we’re in a rebuilding process,” he said. “We’re a couple steps ahead. We’re already making things happen. With [D’Angelo Russell] and [Karl-Anthony Towns] hitting their five years in the league, they still have a lot of room to improve, but I feel like they learned a lot. It’s not like a young corps where they don’t know how this league goes.”

Rubio expressed a willingness to accept a starting or reserve position in Minnesota. He credits the outlook to his time in Utah watching Derrick Favors, who handled both roles without complaining.

“He didn’t say a word,” Rubio said. “He kept working and … at the end of the day we won. That’s what you care about. You have to sacrifice something for the best, for the team. If it’s coming off the bench, would I like it? No. I wouldn’t like it, I will be honest. But I will be willing to do it for the best of the team.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Malik Beasley held his first session with reporters today since being arrested in September for drug possession and threats of violence, but he refused to discuss specifics of the case, Hine adds in a separate story. “It’s a legal issue,” he said. “I cannot really comment on that right now, but I appreciate the Timberwolves’ support and I’m 100% focused on the court this year and doing what we have to do.”
  • The Wolves have only four players remaining from last season’s opening-night roster, notes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has remade the team to add more shooting, playmaking and versatility, giving coach Ryan Saunders more options with his rotation. Krawcyznski examines several potential starting lineups that lean on experience, athleticism and ball-handling.
  • The new three-year, $21MM contract for Juancho Hernangomez includes a team option for the third year and contains $387,500 in incentives, Krawczynski tweets. The fifth-year power forward will make $6.493MM this season and $7,012,440 in 2021/22. His $7,531,880 salary for 2022/23 becomes fully guaranteed on June 30, 2022.

Wolves Rumors: Hernangomez, Edwards, Rubio, Beasley

Timberwolves restricted free agent forward Juan Hernangomez initially sought an offer in excess of $10MM per year, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Unwilling to meet that price right off the bat, the Wolves “essentially told” Hernangomez to prove he could get an offer from another club while they went looking for possible alternatives at power forward, writes Krawczynski.

Minnesota ended up reaching out to a number forwards in free agency, including Derrick Jones (as previously outlined), Paul Millsap, Jae Crowder, and JaMychal Green, and inquired on possible trades involving Magic forward Aaron Gordon, Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, and Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr., sources tell Krawczynski.

The Timberwolves didn’t have any luck with any of those potential targets, but held firm on their offer to Hernangomez, who mulled the possibility of accepting the one-year qualifying offer worth $4.64MM, per Krawczynski. Ultimately, the two sides came to an agreement on a three-year, $21MM deal that has a third-year team option.

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • The Timberwolves chose Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 pick last week because they believe he has the clearest path of any of this year’s draft-eligible prospects to becoming a multi-time All-Star, says Krawczysnki.
  • Sources tell The Athletic that the team’s acquisition of Ricky Rubio was partly motivated by seeing what the veteran point guard did for Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker at his previous stops and a belief that he’ll aid Edwards’ development.
  • The Knicks told Malik Beasley he’d be their Plan B in free agency if they couldn’t land Gordon Hayward, according to Krawczynski. Recognizing that New York could be a threat to put forth a troublesome offer sheet, the Wolves went in with an aggressive pitch on the opening night of free agency and secured a commitment from Beasley on the spot. Sources tell The Athletic that Beasley has appreciated the support he’s received from the franchise since running into off-court legal problems.
  • The Timberwolves officially announced Beasley’s new deal today. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) has the year-by-year financial breakdown of that contract, which guarantees the swingman $43MM+ over three years.

Wolves Notes: Rubio, Edwards, Davis, Beasley

In a conversation with Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, Ricky Rubio discussed his first stint with the Timberwolves, his impending second stint with the franchise, and the experience of being traded twice in the span of days. Rubio said he found out about his involvement in the SunsChris Paul trade last week when Shams Charania broke the news on Twitter.

“It’s not the way you want to know, especially my agent was talking with the team and they said my name was off the table when all the rumors and all the stuff happened,” Rubio said. “You feel like everything that they have said to you all year and buying into a new project and a young team and they need you, blah, blah, blah. It seems like nothing’s true.”

As Krawczynski writes, Rubio wasn’t upset about the move itself, since he understands why the Suns would want Paul. Still, he was stung by the way he found out. Now, after initially making his NBA debut for the Timberwolves as a 21-year-old, the point guard is looking forward to returning to the team as a veteran who can help guide a young squad.

“It started to really make more sense for me to really connect the puzzle and get to Minnesota and help a young team with a lot of talent and already have done really good things,” he told Krawczynsi. “I feel like I can fit in the puzzle.”

Here’s more on the Wolevs:

  • In an in-depth story on how the Timberwolves decided to use the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft on Anthony Edwards, Krawczynski cites sources who say that the team never really got close to trading that pick. The Wolves were unwilling to accept what they considered subpar value to move down and risk missing out on the Georgia guard, per Krawczynski. “He stood head and shoulders above any player in this draft and we were excited to be at No. 1 to be able to select him,” president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said of Edwards.
  • Michael Rand of The Star Tribune makes a case for why he believes veteran center Ed Davis could be the Timberwolves’ most important new player for the 2020/21 season.
  • Three days after agreeing to a new $60MM deal with the Timberwolves, Malik Beasley made a court appearance today. Beasley, who faces a pair of felony charges related to a September incident, was told to have no contact with the alleged victims and a potential witness, tweets Krawczynski. His next court appearance will be on December 17.