Minnesota Timberwolves Have Formidable Trio in Beasley, Love, and Johnson

Timber WolfAnalyst IISeptember 17, 2010

Johnson Drives
Johnson DrivesJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A 6'10'' rebounding machine that doesn't need to have plays run for him, can outlet pass with the very best in the game's history, and can knock down open perimeter shots.

A 6'7'' ideal swingman that can knock down open and contested jumpers, has incredible athleticism to complement his finishing ability with speed and quickness, and definitely isn't a defensive stalwart.

A 6'9'' combo forward who has utter star potential, can create his own shot, is left-handed, can rebound, defend, and do almost anything on the court.

Ladies and gents, that's Kevin Love, Wes Johnson, and Michael Beasley. According to fans and the like around the web, there's a legit shot of Wes Johnson starting at shooting guard, Michael Beasley starting at the small forward position, and Kevin Love getting the starting role at power forward.

Of course, there's some skepticism about those spots.

There are arguments that Wes Johnson would serve better as a small forward, Michael Beasley would serve better as a power forward, and Kevin Love is supposed to be the best role player coming off the bench, even for a bad team.

Wes Johnson

As a junior in high school, Wes Johnson stood at 6'2'', playing the point guard position, and grew five inches in two years, thus the legit standing 6'7'' swingman's stellar athleticism was amplified even more when his wingspan expanded to a full 7 feet.

As a senior in high school he was unheard of. It's nearly impossible to find footage from his high school team, and even of his two years at Iowa State. But one thing is very clear about Wes Johnson: he's extremely confident in his abilities, but he's extremely coachable.

When asked about his game and what a lot of scouts don't know is that he can actually handle the ball, although you won't see him do it. From his story, Wes Johnson was always considered a starting caliber swingman, but his coaches always used him to play a role off the ball. This ultimately is his core strength, but during Wes' college days, he showed flashes of being able to handle the ball sparingly.

It's evidenced by this quote from Wes himself: "I'll tell you this right now. I've been in a supporting role in relation to always being a team guy. And I'm not going to shy away from that. But it's time for me to be me. I'm gonna have that swag and show everybody the real Wes."

The Minnesota Timberwolves run the triangle offense, and the way it's run calls for the shooting guard to be able to make plays for himself (Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant). Wes will step into that role, and I think he will do better than most realize.

Kevin Love

Love was a stud in his NCAA days, is even a better stud in the NBA. There shouldn't be much to argue why this guy is a star role player (what a oxymoron).

Kevin Love is arguably the best rebounder in the NBA, also the best outlet passer, and there's a legit shot that he has Pau Gasol-like passing skills out of the post. Though he's a tad undersized for the power forward position, many would argue that Kevin Love's talents would have put him on the bench on a contending team.

While he doesn't have the lateral quickness or athleticism to defend hybrid fours, there are many many star role playing guys that played on championship teams, like Ben Wallace.

Kevin Love has been playing for Team USA, he's coming back with a gold medal and a winning mentality. He's gotten better at taking charges, and rebounding (I know, right). He's still only 22 years old, and still has a lot of upside left. Don't think that Kevin Love cannot become a legit 17 point, 13 rebound machine.

Michael Beasley

Here's the biggest question. Can Michael Beasley play the small forward position for extended periods of time?

Here's your answer. Yes.

How do I know? Well it's quite obvious, Michael Beasley is playing in the triangle offense, and the way it's set up, he can get into the post and score on smaller threes, and he can use his speed and quickness to iso slower fours. But extended periods of time would naturally worry Wolves fans for Beasley to play small forward.

Let's look at the threes that the Timberwolves utilized last season: Ryan Gomes, Damien Wilkins, and Sasha Pavlovic (and you wonder why they stocked up on wing players in the draft).

Ryan Gomes was a bit slow, but he was able to average double-figure scoring for the Timberwolves squad. Damien Wilkins played sparingly, but he was able to grab double-digit rebounds on some nights. And Sasha Pavlovic? Never mind.

Micheal Beasley can't play small forward for the Timberwolves? Really? Well just looking at him, he possesses and looks quick enough to start and play extended minutes at the three.

He also possesses superior size compared to a lot of threes in the league, standing at 6'9'' at the age of 19, possessing a 7-foot wingspan, with great athleticism to complement his star talent.

And yes people, don't be surprised if he emerges as an all star talent this season.


Wesley Johnson, Michael Beasley, and Kevin Love can form a formidable trio. Compared to last season's trio of Jonny Flynn, Kevin Love, and Al Jefferson, complemented by Corey Brewer, I think I'll take this one, featuring Wes, B-Easy, and Love complemented by Martell Webster, Darko Milicic, Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer, and Nikola Pekovic.


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