They waited until the 11th hour, but the Minnesota Timberwolves have extended Malik Beasley his qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent.
Needless to say, this is a tricky situation and one that I want to be very delicate in the way I talk about it. According to our good friend Dane Moore, Beasley had his day in court today regarding the incident that took place during a Parade of Homes event this offseason.
I’m not going to comment on the incident because, frankly, I’m not qualified to do so and this isn’t the time or the place.
In terms of how this impacts the Wolves, this always made the most sense even given the uncertainty surrounding Beasley at this moment. If no suitors come for Beasley and he ends up just taking is QO, that’s not a bad outcome for Minnesota. At that point, they can either happily have a rotation player on the cheap, or decide to trade him elsewhere.
On the contrary, if there is much of a market for Beasley, the Timberwolves at least now give themselves the option to match whatever offer sheet Beasley signs with another team. They really can’t lose in this scenario.
If I had to bet on it, I’d still expect Beasley to get a multi-year offer sheet, albeit maybe for less money than he would’ve at the end of last season. It is worth noting that Beasley is represented by Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, who are notorious (this is a good thing for players) for being stingy at the negotiating table.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have made guard Malik Beasley available in discussions, and the New York Knicks are one of several interested teams, according to sources. He averaged 20 after being traded from Denver to Minnesota last season— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) November 19, 2020
It appears that a sign-and-trade including Beasley is the most likely route, now. I’m not sure what the Knicks would offer in return of Beasley, but any sort of asset they could get for the young shooting guard would be considered a win at this juncture.
In other news, James Johnson just picked up his player-option for the 2020-21 NBA season, locking himself into $16M.
This is 100% expected, as JJ would not get $16M annually on the open market, but it is noteworthy because he is almost !00% certain to be the salary traded for Ricky Rubio.
The Spanish Unicorn is back.