NBA Trade Rumors: Why Minnesota Timberwolves Need to Unload Michael Beasley

Adam LazarusSenior Analyst IJune 30, 2011

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 03:  Michael Beasley #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after he is called for an offensive foul in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 3, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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With Ricky Rubio joining the team, the drafting of Derrick Williams and Kevin Love's rise to All-Star status, the Minnesota Timberwolves are a team in transition, and if I were general manager David Kahn, I would keep up that spirit of change, starting with a trade of forward Michael Beasley.

Beasley's contract status—he becomes a free agent after next season—is part of the reason why. But shipping him to a needy team before the deal runs out (and getting something valuable in return) is not the only reason they should look to move the former Kansas State Wildcat.

While it would be nice for the T-wolves to have three really talented big men in Beasley, Love and Williams, it's a luxury they can't afford, not when Rubio remains an overwhelmingly glaring question mark and there isn't an explosive player (and it's not even close) in the backcourt.

Beasley isn't exactly Kobe Bryant or Blake Griffin, but he should command something pretty solid in return. He's only 22 years old, he's only a restricted free agent in 2012, and he averaged 19.2 points per game last year, ninth best in the NBA among true bigs.

There should be several teams out there willing to deal away a quality shooting guard, maybe even one of those studs drafted in the first round, Alec Burks or Marshon Brooks. If they could package something to give Golden State and get Monta Ellis in return, I think the T-Wolves would become an instant favorite for the Northwest division.

And although they'd certainly miss Beasley's production, Love and Williams would be a powerful front court duo. And don't forget about Martell Webster, who has been good for about 10 points per game over the last two years.

If we've learned anything in today's NBA it's that teams have never been more wiling to mix and match and move quality players in an effort to find the right formula. Beasley learned that lesson last summer when he was collateral damage in the Heat's active offseason. He very well may learn that lesson again this summer.