Numerous labels—not all of them favorable—have been given to Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley throughout his four-year NBA career. Here's yet another that applies as well: potential free-agent steal.
After excelling in a backup role this year, Beasley has his eye on greener pastures filled with more playing time in 2012-13.
"The reserve role is what the coach wanted, but that's not really my plans for the future," said Beasley last week. "I see myself as a starter. Now I have to prove it."
As the season comes to a close, it appears as though Beasley's plans for the future won't involve the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." The Timberwolves are, in fact, capable of re-signing him without going over the salary cap. But if the team intends on making a huge splash in free agency, Beasley's $8.17 million qualifying offer may be too large of a pill to swallow.
The 6'9", 235-pound Beasley is talented enough to start immediately for more than a handful of NBA teams, and his per 36-minute averages (17.9 PPG, 7.0 RPG) should make talent evaluators around the league take notice. With that in mind, let's take a look at where Beasley could land next season.