Trading Malik Beasley could help the Timberwolves solidify their defense
Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner could help further solidify an already improved defensive team, and moving Beasley could be part of what it takes to land him.
Turner has been known as elite shot blocker since the first day he stepped on an NBA court. His rookie year, he anchored the unit with the third-best defensive rating in the league at while averaging 1.4 blocks per game and grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game.
Turner has had injuries throughout his seven-year career resulting in him missing time but last year he put up his best all-around defensive numbers. In the 47 games that Turner played, he averaged a career-high 3.4 blocks per game, recording roughly one steal per game, and grabbed 6.5 rebounds per game. Turner was also the league’s block leader in both 2019 and 2021.
Turner has continued to improve his 3-point shooting over the course of his career. Although he is not elite from beyond the arc, he has proven that teams must respect his shot, as he’s shot 35.6 percent on 2.5 attempts per game.
In the 22 games Turner has played this season, he is averaging a career-high 39.4 percent on 4.5 attempts from downtown. While Turner is not quite the shooter that Beasley is, if the Timberwolves were to execute this trade they would bring an elite defensive player who has a respectable 3-point shot.
Still, to make this trade a reality, the Wolves would have to package Beasley, Jaden McDaniels, and draft picks to obtain Turner’s services. That would work from a salary perspective, but the question would be whether or not Turner’s combination of defense and shooting would be preferable to the more distinct skill-sets of both Beasley and McDaniels.
Indiana’s front office could be intrigued by the opportunity of bringing in the top-level shooting that Beasley provides, plus a quality young player in Jaden McDaniels. The partnership between Turner and Domantas Sabonis has proven to be stagnant given their lack of progression in the playoffs. If the Pacers were looking possibly rebuild than this trade could help them long-term if they decide to blow it all up.
Of course, losing McDaniels could easily turn into regret if he turns into more than a solid role player, forward but in any trade there is no reward without risk.
Either way, the question remains: how will the Malik Beasley situation play out, and what choice will Finch, Gupta, and the Timberwolves ultimately make?