Malik Beasley is supposed to be one of the best shooters on the Minnesota Timberwolves, but his play has been wildly inconsistent through the first 20 games of the 2021-22 season.
What should the Minnesota Timberwolves do with Malik Beasley?
Sachin Gupta and the Timberwolves front office are going to have to decide if Malik Beasley will be a part of the Wolves’ grueling uphill battle to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Still, there are multiple options regarding what to do with the largely underperforming guard. Let’s take a look at what is on the table for Gupta and Co.
The case for keeping Malik Beasley as the sixth man off the bench
The Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Beasley in Feb. 2020. In the 14 games he played before the Wolves season was cut short due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beasley averaged 20.7 points per game while shooting 42.6 percent from 3-point range on 8.2 attempts per game.
Based on his play in that short period of time, Beasley was able to earn a four-year contract worth $60 million in restricted free agency.
He remained in the starting lineup for the 2020-21 season and largely proved that the numbers he put up immediately following the trade were not simply a fluke. Despite Beasley’s continued success, he missed time due to a suspension and then a hamstring injury, and the Wolves finished 23-49.
Beasley finished the shortened 2020-21 campaign averaging 19.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 39.9 percent from deep and 85 percent from the free throw line.
This season, Chris Finch decided to move Beasley to the bench to act as the sixth man with the idea of providing the second unit with a scoring presence. Through the first 20 games of this season, he averaged 10.4 points per game while shooting a dismal 32.9 percent from the 3-point line on 7.8 attempts per game — perilously close to his career-low at 32.1, which he shot back in his rookie year for the Denver Nuggets.
Despite his early shooting woes, there should be optimism that Beasley’s overall shooting stats will improve. If Beasley can increase his overall stats even marginally, it could help the team long-term through the season.
Both the front office and the coaching staff have a couple of options regarding what to do with Beasley if the inconsistencies continue.