Earlier this summer, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley was caught with marijuana in his car, leading to speculation about him being dealt when the lockout is over. Now, I'm not the biggest Beasley fan, but trading him for 50 cents on the dollar is not in the team's best interest.
It's important to remember that Beasley is still young; he's only 22 years old. You can't consider him a lost cause at such a young age. The Heat basically dumped him for nothing last summer to make room for the big three, and it looks like the Wolves will strongly consider doing the same.
Many people believe trading Beasley will create room for Derrick Williams in the rotation. While this is true, I don't think Williams plays small forward for long. I think eventually people will realize he is best suited at power forward.
I went to the Sweet Sixteen game between Arizona and Duke in Anaheim. After Arizona crushed Duke, if someone would have told me Williams' NBA team was going to play him at small forward, I would have been shocked. Yes, he can shoot from the outside, but that doesn't make him a small forward. He's more athletic than most, if not all power forwards, but he doesn't have the speed, or the quickness to guard more athletic small forwards.
Williams is a great rebounder and a good low post scorer. If he continues to develop as a big man, he could really be a great player. If Beasley is traded and he's forced to play small forward, his skills won't be utilized to the fullest, and he will never reach his full potential.
If the Timberwolves keep Beasley around and allow Williams to play minutes at both forward spots, the Wolves can place him where they see fit having seen him in both capacities. The Wolves should adjust their roster according to Williams' abilities after they actually see him play for a season. making room for him at small forward before we know what he can do is a bad idea.
Not only is trading Beasley a bad idea because it forces Williams into the small forward role, but also because we don't know what Beasley can do. He hasn't made huge strides toward improving in his first three seasons, but with the right coaching staff, and a good supporting cast, I believe Beasley still has a chance to be a really good player. The physical skills are still there.
Right now, Beasley's stock is low. If the Wolves decide to get rid of him, they aren't going to get all that much back. Like I said, he's only 22, and I say they take a chance on him and give him another year. If Beasley tanks, the Wolves wouldn't have gotten much in the first place. If he plays well, his stock will be high enough to trade him for something better, and by then the Wolves will know whether or not Derrick Williams is going to be a small forward.
Who knows, maybe Williams and Beasley play so well together they decide to trade Kevin Love for excellent return value. Maybe that's how they return to the playoffs.
All I'm trying to say, is that now is not the right time to let go of Beasley. The Wolves need to keep the pieces they have, and reevaluate after next season. Between the new players they acquired, and the development of the players they have, we are going to see a completely different Wolves team on the floor next season. And for that reason, trading Beasley now isn't in the team's best interest.