NBA: Wolves players happy to see Beasley
MINNEAPOLIS -- New Timberwolf Wesley Johnson faced Michael Beasley twice during his final season at Iowa State three years ago. Beasley, a Kansas State freshman, needed just one of those games to make an impression. "I remember," Johnson said. "I...
MINNEAPOLIS -- New Timberwolf Wesley Johnson faced Michael Beasley twice during his final season at Iowa State three years ago.
Beasley, a Kansas State freshman, needed just one of those games to make an impression.
"I remember," Johnson said. "I think he played 22 minutes and had like 33 points and a double-double, something crazy like that. Fortunately, I wasn't matched up against him, but it was fun to see."
Beasley also had 15 rebounds that January evening in Manhattan, Kan. He went on to consensus national Player of the Year honors in his only collegiate season and the No. 2 selection in the NBA draft (Derrick Rose went No. 1).
Back then, they were Big 12 opponents passing in the night. Now, pending the finalization of a trade agreed upon with Miami late Thursday night, they will be teammates in Minnesota.
"Great player," Johnson said. "Extremely great player."
At least he was in college.
In two seasons with the Heat, Beasley has been a starter part of the time, a reserve part of the time and something of an enigma all the time.
He averaged 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in those two seasons, bristled against the Heat organization's disciplinary system and last summer checked himself into a Houston rehabilitation center at the urging of Heat officials to deal with possible substance and psychological issues.
The Heat agreed to trade away Beasley for a 2011 second-round pick and a swap of future first-round picks so they could make the last of many salary-cap moves to clear space for a startling franchise transformation that will add LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller to resident superstar Dwyane Wade.
"He's so misunderstood," said Wolves point guard Jonny Flynn, who played AAU ball against Beasley and with him on a national 19-and-under team. "His demeanor, the way he is as a person, a lot of people think he doesn't care about basketball, about a lot of things. That's just the way he is. He went through a lot of things growing up. A hard lifestyle can shape a person a different way, so I think a lot of people misunderstand Mike.
"That's a great pickup for us."
Beasley turns 22 in January. He's a 6-foot-9 shooter and scorer who can play both forward spots, but his game probably is best suited for power forward, a position where the Wolves already have Al Jefferson and Kevin Love.
"Versatility," Flynn said when asked what Beasley will bring. "He can play either position. He's such a talented kid. You saw that in college and you saw it in glimpses in Miami. Now, he'll have the opportunity to really go out and really show his talent."
Beasley's acquisition follows the draft-night arrivals of Johnson, Portland Trail Blazers swingman Martell Webster and Marquette senior forward Lazar Hayward. There's a pattern Wolves boss David Kahn and coach Kurt Rambis are assembling here: athletic players who can all spread the floor with their 3-point shooting.