Although Malik Beasley is posting career-best numbers for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2020-21 season, the fact the team has the worst winning percentage in the entire NBA means they could be making some moves prior to the March 25 trade deadline. According to a recently published article, Beasley could be one of the players they ship elsewhere — and one who could fetch a more than decent return.
On Tuesday, Bleacher Report wrote that the Timberwolves have looked like a club that doesn't have a fixed direction, with their 7-20 record placing them last in the Western Conference. While the organization seemed to "[tilt] toward immediacy" by sending their top-three-protected first-round pick in the 2021 draft to the Golden State Warriors for D'Angelo Russell midway through the 2019-20 season, Minnesota is still far away from looking like a playoff contender.
According to the publication, Beasley looks like a potential candidate to be traded because he is on a relatively affordable four-year, $60 million contract and is productive on offense. Per Basketball-Reference, he is currently averaging 20.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists with solid shooting percentages of 45.8 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three-point range. However, his subpar defense could make him expendable for the Timberwolves, considering that this is seen as the club's biggest weakness.
"He can hold up versus some wings, but his physical tools have never fully translated to the less-glamorous end. He is also far from untouchable if the Timberwolves are at all married to Culver, Edwards and Josh Okogie over the long term."
Talking about what the Timberwolves could get in a trade involving Beasley, Bleacher Report speculated that he might command a "first-round pick and semi-interesting young player." The site added that the 24-year-old guard could be used as a salary-matching piece if the team decides to go for a star or someone such as Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, whose defensive versatility could benefit them going forward.
In addition, the publication pointed out that the Timberwolves' situation is so fluid that it's possible they might even "throw the kitchen sink" in an effort to acquire the league's top scorer, Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal.
While it remains unclear what the Timberwolves might do in the weeks leading up to the deadline, Beasley's name has previously been mentioned in trade ideas that could possibly be advantageous for the struggling organization. Last month, it was suggested that Minnesota could acquire Brooklyn Nets guards Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie in exchange for a package featuring Beasley, Russell, Okogie, and multiple first-round picks, as reported by The Inquisitr.