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Minnesota Timberwolves Buy or Sell: Michael Beasley (With Poll!)

On July 12th, 2010, the Miami Heat traded Michael Beasley to the Minnesota Timberwolves for cash and 2nd round draft picks in 2011 (Bojan Bogdanovic, who was traded to the Brooklyn Nets) and 2014.

After two seasons, the Wolves are now faced with the decision of whether to give Michael Beasley a qualifying offer of $8,172,362, or let him become a free agent.

The question is simple. Buy or sell: should the Minnesota Timberwolves keep Michael Beasley for the 2012-13 NBA season?

(want more on Beasley? A recap, and a poll, are below the fold)

At the time of the trade, here is how some of Canis reacted:

Stop-n-Pop: When all is said and done about this trade, it has to be remembered that the Wolves were able to gain the 2nd pick in the 2008 NBA Draft for next to nothing. They brought aboard a massively talented young player who, it should be noted, improved during his second season in the league while dealing with some fairly significant off the court issues. He now gets a chance to continue to improve on a team that can afford to give him a longer on-court leash.

Interestingly enough, the Wolves now have the top two players from our 2008 Hoopus Draft Board: Mike Beasley and Kevin Love. I'm not sure how well this pairing will work together on the defensive end of the court, but....well, I'll repeat it until I'm blue in the face: 15 win teams can take these sorts of risks. Here's hoping that Minny can be more K-State than Miami. I think it's a fairly safe assumption that it will be, especially with what happened last night.

I can't wait to see Beasley in a Wolves uniform.

vjl110: I really like acquiring Beasley, and am more optimistic than most about how good he will be, this next year and into the future.

Eric in Madison: Maybe this will turn out well, maybe it won't. I don't think I would have done it, but I see the argument in favor. I hope the guy blossoms with the Wolves.

MAYNHOLUP: Beasly wuss reallty good mayn! ay if u comin here u need ta chief on some of dat kill not dat dirt weed i saw in dat picture maynn.

Prior to arriving in Minnesota, Michael Beasley played two seasons with the Miami Heat. He made the playoffs in both seasons, but lost in the first round both times.

"Michael is an unbelievable talent," Wade said. "And he can erupt any game, any moment. The ability that he has to use both hands around the basket, finishing. His jumpshot. He has all the tools. With Michael, it’s just going to take him to continue to grow at the game, and get to a winning environment, and start understanding what his team needs from him. I mean, he’s a good player. He’s one of the best young talents that we have in the game. But he has the potential to be a great player. If he wants it. And that’s what we always told him in Miami. So we’ll see."

He finished those seasons with WS/48s of .081 and .095, respectively. He was an NBA All-Rookie 1st Team in 2008-09.

Beasley was traded so that Miami could make cap room for signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

In an interview with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, David Kahn said, "He's a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana and has told me that he's not smoking anymore, and I told him that I would trust him as long as that was the case. He has developed a really good support system around him this past season in Miami.

He has hired people to help him grow up. He is growing up -- he's not grown-up. He's 21 ... and if you think back, as I do all the time, to when I was 21, and if you had given me this kind of money and put me in this kind of world with these kinds of pressures attached to it and some of the demands, I don't know how well I would have handled it, any easier than, say, he has."

Head coach Kurt Rambis said, "Beasley adds an awful lot of versatility. I see him being able to play two positions. He can play in those spots on the floor that fit very well into our offense. I'm very pleased we were able to acquire him for virtually nothing."

Beasley himself said, "This is a big year for me and the T'Wolves. I feel like we're such a young team but we can gel together. We have a great coach in Kurt Rambis and a great GM...this offense is set up for me to play any position on the floor, 1 through 5. For Jonny Flynn to play 1 through 5 even. It's set up for us to have fun, basically. We're gonna play young basketball."

In his first season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Beasley started all 73 of the games in which he played. His best games came against against the Sacramento Kings (42 points on 31 shots with 9 rebounds) and the Los Angeles Clippers (33 points on 23 shots and 7 rebounds). He also hit the game winner against the Clippers. His worst games came against Toronto (2-of-12 for 7 points) and New Orleans (4-of-16 for 8 points with 5 turnovers).

He finished the season with the worst TRB% of his career (9.6, compared to 13.1 and 12.6 in his first two years), the highest usage rate of his career and a WS/48 of .035. The Wolves won 17 games and had the worst defense in the league, some of which was due to Beasley's play on the defensive end.

During the offseason, there were rumors that Michael Beasley might be moved, especially after the drafting of Derrick Williams. David Kahn squashed those rumors early. When asked if Beasley would be traded after the draft, Kahn responded, "absolutely not. Michael will be on the team next year."

This past season, Beasley only played 47 of a possible 66 games and only started 7 of those games. He played the lowest minutes (23.1) and took the fewest number of shots (10.6) per game of his NBA career. He was almost traded to the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline in a deal involving Jamal Crawford, but the move was apparently scratched due to a reluctance to take Derek Fisher back in the trade.

His best game was against the Houston Rockets, where he had 34 points on 14 shots (including 12-of-12 from the free throw line.He also played well against the Los Angeles Clippers (27 points on 15 shots). His worst game came against the New Orleans Hornets (1-of-7 for 2 points and 2 turnovers).

Beasley finished the season with a WS/48 of .022, by far the lowest of his career.

The organization has, of course, not given any indication regarding Michael Beasley's future with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Given his expensive qualifying offer, however, and the fact that he did not play many minutes this past season, bringing him back would seem unlikely.

For his part, Michael Beasley has said, "I would love to stay here. I've made family here. I love the community. The fans are great. The organization is great. It's not really in my hands."