Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 players affected by Malik Beasley’s return

Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Jarred Vanderbilt
Jarred Vanderbilt of the Minnesota Timberwolves blocks a shot. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

This weekend, Malik Beasley is set to return from his 12-game suspension and reenter the Minnesota Timberwolves starting lineup.

That means that head coach Chris Finch, who has only had the opportunity to coach Beasley in one game thus far, will have to further alter his ever-changing rotation.

Let’s take a look at the three players whose playing time could most be affected by the return of the Wolves’ second-leading scorer.

Minnesota Timberwolves players affected by Malik Beasley’s return: Jarred Vanderbilt

We’re starting with perhaps the least obvious choice for a player to be affected by Beasley’s return: Jarred Vanderbilt.

No, Vanderbilt doesn’t play the guard or wing positions and has almost exclusively played power forward this season. But there’s a trickle-down effect of Beasley returning to the floor.

Lately, Jaden McDaniels has been playing more at the 3, alongside either Vanderbilt or Juancho Hernangomez at the 4. Anthony Edwards played a great deal at the 3 prior to Beasley’s suspension but has slid down to the 2 in his absence.

Despite his recent struggles and lack of playing time down the stretch of late, Edwards will not lose playing time and will almost certainly start on the wing alongside Beasley. Similarly, fellow rookie and first-round pick McDaniels will continue receiving playing time but will see minutes at both the 3 and the 4. Jaylen Nowell will surely continue to receive minutes off the bench due to his scoring upside and outside shooting ability, further adding to the trickle-down effect.

Finch has already professed his fondness for Henrnangomez, who he coached as a rookie in Denver back in 2016-17, and Hernangomez has played much better of late.

Vanderbilt has started every game but one with Finch on the bench, but has routinely finished last on the team in playing time, including twice logging single-digit minutes.

Vando has played well, to be sure. His per-game averages of 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds are misleading, of course, as he is a solid defender and rebounder and provides a jolt of energy that few Wolves bring to the table.

The ideal role for Vanderbilt is probably situational, as an off-the-bench shot of espresso who can match up well with bouncy, rangey 4s, and some 5s, depending on the opponent.

At the end of the day, Vanderbilt’s minutes are likely to get trimmed, but that does not mean that he isn’t a rotation-caliber NBA player moving forward, just that the Wolves are going to find minutes for their higher-upside guys, including McDaniels, Edwards, and Nowell.