Michael Beasley Should Be a Member of the Toronto Raptors

Mark BirdsellContributor IIINovember 19, 2010

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 02:  Forward Michael Beasley #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in action against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 2, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Bryan Colangelo and the rest of the Toronto Raptors’ front office must be kicking themselves right now.

This past summer, as everyone knows, the Raptors sent Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat for two first round draft picks and a trade exception. However, if Colangelo could get his hands on a time machine there is no doubt he’d make a different decision.

Toronto, as it is currently constructed, could use the talents of former 2nd overall draft pick Michael Beasley.

Beasley is currently leading the Minnesota Timberwolves in scoring with over 22 points per game.

Over his first two seasons Beasley did not impress anyone with his play, but it can be argued that his time in Miami was plagued from the beginning.

Pat Riley never wanted to draft Beasley. He wanted Derrick Rose. When Miami failed to win the draft lottery in the 2008, Riley did everything he could to move the pick.

At the end of the day, Riley failed to receive any trade offers he was interested in and decided to select Michael Beasley.

Beasley played two seasons and then Riley gave him up for a 2nd round draft pick. The move can only be described as a salary-dump. However, from Miami’s perspective it was worthwhile. 

If the team didn’t move Beasley they never would have had enough cap space to sign LeBron James. And I don’t think there is a single General Manager in the NBA who would take Beasley over James.

What makes things so terrible for Raptors’ fans is Toronto could have easily acquired Michael Beasley. 

Pat Riley would have sent a package of Beasley, two first round picks and a $10 million trade exception (instead of $14.5 million) to the Raptors in exchange for Bosh.

But Colangelo didn’t want Michael Beasley.

Now, in his defence there weren’t too many teams interested in acquiring him. There were questions about his work ethic and his commitment to basketball. 

Beasley had several marijuana related problems, including a stint in rehab in the summer of 2009. His off court issues, combined with his less then stellar play on-the-court, meant there wasn’t much demand around the league for his services.

The one General Manager that was willing to take a chance on Beasley was David Kahn of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This didn’t surprise anyone, as Kahn has had a number of critics since taking over basketball operations in Minnesota.

His first basketball related decision as General Manager was drafting Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn and Ty Lawson in the first round of the 2009 draft. 

Kahn also traded away Minnesota’s best player, Al Jefferson, then gave Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic a combined $33 million.

Nothing he did made sense, so why not take a chance on Beasley. Well for anyone keeping score, David Kahn finally got one right.

Michael Beasley and Kevin Love are one of the league’s best young forward tandems.  Beasley is finally living up to his draft status. 

With a 4-9 record and no idea what type of assets Toronto can acquire with the trade exception, I think most fans would love to have Beasley in a Raptors’ uniform.

He is a combo-forward, which is Toronto’s biggest area of weakness. The Raptors could also use his point production, as Andrea Bargnani is the only player averaging over 15 points per game (20.8 ppg).

They say hindsight is 20/20, but in this case Bryan Colangelo failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity.