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Tag:Michael Beasley
Posted on: August 26, 2010 10:31 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 11:13 am
 

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who will be the worst team in the NBA this season?


It's a depressing question, isn't it? Who's going to fail more than any other? Someone has to win the fewest number of games this year. So who's on the list?

The Returning Champ: The New Jersey Nets

You can't just let the reigning "champs" off the list without giving them a chance to repeat! The Nets were the worst team in the league last year, only able to avoid the worst mark of all time due to a late surge. It was a startling development, one that baffled a lot of NBA heads, because the team really did have talent. But for whatever reason (injury, chemistry, coaching, pure terrible luck), it never came together and the team plummeted into the depths. So are they doomed to repeat history?

The Nets struck out in free agency for the top names but still brought in good players. Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw, and Troy Murphy will all be suiting up for the Nets alongside Devin Harris, Terrence Williams, and Brook Lopez. With the development of the younger players, the addition of a few talented veterans, and a more demanding coach in Avery Johnson, the Nets may not be in position to push for the playoffs, but they are unlikely to repeat as the worst team in the NBA.

The New Kids: The Toronto Raptors


Our first victim of the free-agency summer of doom. After losing Chris Bosh to the triad, GM Brian Colangelo went on a firesale. He ditched Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa and sent Marco Belinelli for Julian Wright. He did spend some money, though, giving Amir Johnson a hefty new deal and bringing Linas Kleiza back from overseas. The Raptors lost a huge chunk of salary, and weren't that great to begin with. They are teetering on the abyss. Will they fall off?

Bear in mind that we're talking the worst here. Not bad, but the worst. And the Raptors could assuredly reach that mark if everything were to go wrong. But there are bright spots. Andrea Bargnani, for all his rebound-void, yogurty, forceless  weaknesses, can still hit from anywhere on the floor, and might actually get to play where he's best (high-post and mid-range) with Bosh gone instead of trying to impersonate a traditional center. DeMar DeRozan has the athleticism and range to be able to become a leader. Sonny Weems continues to impress, Amir Johnson will forever be lauded as the next great (whistle) defensive player (whistle) if only he could (whistle) stop fouling (whistle). If the Raptors drop off a cliff, it'll be because the chemistry wasn't fit to hold, or because the real problem in Toronto hasn't been Colangelo's roster, but Triano's coaching.

The Dark Horse: The Washington Wizards


How could any team with John Wall be the worst team in the league? When you have as fragile a chemistry set as this team does. That's how. The Wizards are a long shot to burrow into the trash heap the furthest, but with Gilbert Arenas anything but a sure thing, there's just no telling how this is going to work out. We thought the biggest concern with Arenas last year was if he could stay healthy a full season. We didn't even get to answer that. Andray Blatche is the third best player on the team, and that could go any number of ways. He could be a consistent scorer, working in tandem with Wall, and showcasing the scoring ability he showed last season. Or he could become a space cadet again. JaVale McGee showed great things in Summer League, but he's yet to prove he can be someone to be relied on as the primary big.

Wall is likely to be good enough to drag this team out of the very basement, and if everything were to go right (and I mean everything), the Wizards could find themselves in contention for the playoffs. But if another chemistry blow-up happens and Flip Saunders is unable to contain the damage and get through, the Wizards could be a two-year disaster.

The Favorite: The Minnesota Timberwolves


Okay, let's try the opposite. Let's try and figure out how the Wolves could avoid being the worst team in the league. Option No. 1, another team has a rash of injuries that makes Houston seem like Phoenix. Okay, barring that, Option No.2, we need the following to occur:

A. Luke Ridnour picks up where he left off in Milwaukee, being a solid game manager and reliable shooter.
B. Martell Webster slides in and immediately begins to contribute as he did in Portland, providing the perimeter scoring missing in Minny last year.
C. Wesley Johnson was in fact, the best player available at 3, better or at least within range of DeMarcus Cousins only without the chemistry problems, and is able to pick up the pro game's speed and awareness necessary to contribute.
D. Jonny Flynn recovers on schedule from hip surgery.
E. Kurt Rambis and David Kahn get over whatever problems they had with Kevin Love last season, and Love is allowed to be on the floor and become the player everyone else believes he is.
F. Darko Milicic actually was worth five years and $20 million, and alongside Love makes for a stout front court.
G. The triangle, one of the more complex and difficult systems to run, which has only been successful for two teams under one coach with the best or second best player in the league at all times, magically works for a lottery team lacking in both veteran smarts and talent.
H. Mike Beasley really was just misunderstood.

That's a lot that needs to go right. Wolves fans tend to think the media picks on them because of their market. As a proponent of small markets, I'm here to say that's not the case. It's because this team is bad. It was built badly, with bad contracts for bad players, with a bad system for its personnel, and it needs significant upgrades at nearly every position and at multiple depth levels in order to make itself right. The Wolves could come together and shove it in the faces of all the doubters. But until we see the actual manifestation of all the supposed potential the roster holds, your Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to be the worst team in the NBA this season.


Posted on: July 23, 2010 4:39 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 6:01 pm
 

Kahn fined $50k for Beasley comments

Posted by Matt Moore

David Kahn's summer of love continues.

After giving Darko Milicic the gift of $20 million dollars, then giving Miami the gift of being able to sign a bunch of talented veteran free agents by taking on Michael Beasley, and giving the Utah Jazz a great up-and-coming low-post scorer in Al Jefferson, the Wolves GM has now decided to give a big ol' gift right back to the NBA.

The NBA today fined David Kahn $50,000 and the Minnesota Timberwolves $50,000 following Kahns' comments on Thursday regarding Michael Beasley and his marijuana use. As we told you when we brought you Kahn's comments on the Minneapolis radio show, and via Tom Ziller, the CBA prohibits team officials from discussing drug use with the media.

You're going to be hard pressed with someone that thinks that what Kahn was saying was wrong. It was an honest observation about a player he's taken a lot of flack for trading for. He's a kid that's gone through a tremendous amount of scrutiny, and Kahn was just being honest and reasonable about his situation. But the CBA outlines this stuff pretty clearly, and for a good reason. Drug use is a personal issue, and especially with someone with a history of it like Beasley, openly discussing it not only hurts his brand and business ventures, but it harms his family and image. Even if everyone thought the same thing about Beasley, there's a huge line between referencing it vaguely and outlining it specifically. Kahn should know that.

Then again, he should also know not to give Darko Milicic $20 million and not to acquire Luke Ridnour when he has four point guards on roster, but hey, it's Kahn.

Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:43 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 3:18 pm
 

Kahn: Beasley just smoked too much pot that's all

Posted by Royce Young

"" In a radio interview 1500 ESPN Twin Cities , Minnesota general manager David Kahn started talking about Michael Beasley and how he's put some of his backage behind him. One of those things mentioned was Beasley having smoked a little too much marijuana in South Beach.

"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," Kahn said Thursday during the interview.

Everyone remembers Beasley's famous picture he posted on Twitter that was showcasing a tattoo he had on his back but had a visible bag of marijuana on the table behind him. Or how Beasely got in trouble during the NBA's rookie symposium for smoking in his hotel room. As a result of both those situations, Beasley went to rehab for a brief period. Kahn went on about how Beasely is going to ditch the habit.

"He has developed a really good support system around him this past season in Miami. He's hired people to help him grow up. He is growing up -- he's not grown up. He's 21 ... and he just turned 21 last January, 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 (that) I would have handled it any easier than, say, he has."

There's no real justified excuse for Beasley's immaturity, but it certainly is a plight we see often with young, rich and famous stars. Too much, too soon can get some folks in trouble.

However, Kahn may have messed up in mentioning it at all. As Tom Ziller of FanHouse so astutely points out , Article XXXIII, Section 3(f) of the league's collective bargaining agreement states that team employees are prohibited from disclosing "information regarding the use, possession, or distribution of a Prohibited Substance by a player," though it's not clear if Beasley's private talks to Kahn falls under these rules. Still, there could be an issue in regards to Kahn's comments.

However, Kahn makes the valid point that Beasley is a wonderfully talented basketball player that just needs to get things straightened out. He can absolutely be productive on the court, but most of that will only happen if he gets things in line off it.

Posted on: July 22, 2010 9:24 am
Edited on: July 22, 2010 12:40 pm
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Posted on: July 13, 2010 4:38 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 4:56 pm
 

Wolves officially dish Jefferson for draft picks

Posted by Matt Moore

I've been accused of hating on the Minnesota Timberwolves, but nothing could be further from the case. I think small market teams like Minnesota need strong and smart leadership more than their colleagues in the big ol' cities. They need general managers that know how to get the most value out of their assets and can acquire talented players with a cohesive plan in place to contend within a set number of years.

By all indications, the Minnesota Timberwolves do not have that.

Ken Berger reports that the deal is done for Al Jefferson to be sent to Minnesota for a future 1st round pick from Utah, the Grizzlies' 1st rounder that the Jazz acquired for Ronnie Brewer last season, and a Traded Player Exception (Marc Spears of Yahoo! was first to report the terms of the deal, which we discussed last night).

Hey, they cleared cap space and got draft picks out of it! Good rebuilding move, right? Except the Wolves are not rebuilding. They've been in rebuild mode for three years. During that time, they've managed to bungle multiple drafts with the exception of Kevin Love... who, naturally is in management and coaching's doghouse for some bizarre reason. They dropped the bottom out of Jefferson's value and then traded him for picks. And that part's not a bad plan. If they were any good, in any way, at drafting.

The Wolves have drafted Corey Brewer, Jonny Flynn, Wayne Ellington, a player who currently is sitting on a beach in Spain sipping some sort of drink with an umbrella in it, and Wesley Johnson, probably the biggest reach of the 2010 draft. So pardon me if I'm not super thrilled at what David Kahn can do with more choices with which to stock up at positions he already has solidified.

Jefferson's market was non-existent, his defenders will say. Mostly because every team in the league knew that if they waited, his value would continue to drop. Utah came through with a stronger offer, because they were willing to spend it based on what Jefferson's worth. The Wolves, on the other hand, elected to go with Darko Milicic, Martell Webster, Michael Beasley, and Luke Ridnour (seriously ) as their big offseason additions. It's a cavalcade of marginal players who are overpaid, with one of the bigger headcases in recent mystery thrown in for good measure.

Meanwhile, Jefferson, with a 20+ PER and a range of post moves to go along with those question-mark knees (and youth to recover with) is headed to Utah to play with Deron Williams.

Maybe this master plan will work and the pieces that Kahn has assembled will play brilliantly while Al Jefferson flounders. Maybe Wesley Johnson is an elite player in the making.

Or maybe Wolves fans deserve better than to have a 3-D trainwreck played out before their very eyes.

Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:18 am
 

Report: Heat trade Beasley to Minnesota

Posted by Royce Young

To make room for LeBron James, the Heat have traded Michael Beasley to Minnesota for a 2011 second-round pick, Marc Stein reports . Also involved is a swap of future first-round picks, but specifics weren't out as of yet.

Ken Berger reported earlier that there were strong talks between Charlotte, Houston and Miami involving a three-way trade, but those fell apart. Miami desperately was looking to dump Beasley's $4.9 million contract into someone's lap, and of course, David Kahn and the Wolves were ready for it. Essentially if you were wanted Beasley, you could have him for a low, low price. Not too bad a price to pay for 2008's second overall pick.

Of course with Beasley comes some major issues, but don't forget, this guy was considered one of the most talented players in the class of 2008. The ability is there. For Beasley, most of the lack of on-court production has been a result of what's between the ears.

Beasley has always been caught between positions in Miami, flipping between small forward and power forward. I imagine in Minnesota, he'll likely see more time at small forward, considering the Wolves front court depth with Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, Darko Milicic and Ryan Hollins. Minnesota traded for Martell Webster on draft night, but other than that, there's not a ton of depth at the three.

But to recap, the Heat traded a former second overall pick for a second-round pick. Hey, when you're making room for the King, you've got to do what you've got to do.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:22 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 3:11 pm
 

KB Updates: Lee-Randolph, Amar'e S&T, Cats moves

Posted by Royce Young

A few interesting things from CBSSports.com's Ken Berger:

  • The Heat are actively trying to clear Michael Beasley and his $4.9 million off the books in order to complete its dream team. Right now, Miami is talking a three-way trade that involves Charlotte and Houston. Beasley would go to Charlotte, with the Rockets getting something from the Bobcats.
  • Amare Stoudemire's move to New York was actually done as a sign-and-trade, Berger reports. The deal is five years, $99.9 million. The Knicks save about $800,000 on next year's cap as a result of it and the Suns get a trade exception and conditional future pick.
  • The Bobcats are in serious talks to offer either Luis Scola or Tyrus Thomas a contract. Both are restricted free agents and Berger says that Houston owner Leslie Alexander is determined to match any offer on Scola.
That's it for now, but obviously, much more to come.

Posted on: June 29, 2010 3:58 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 8:41 pm
 

Michael Beasley is considered damaged goods

All things considered, it was probably going to wind up like this. It's not fair, and it's not right, and really it's unfortunate when everything shakes out. But Michael Beasley is damaged goods in the NBA. That's the cold, hard truth.

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that the Heat have bought out James Jones from his contract. That's not really the big news, clearing $300,000 from their space. No, the meat of the story is in the last few lines, where Berger describes the Heat's situation with trying to trade Beasley. That situation can be summed up with the phrase "no one will touch it with a ten-foot pole."

Beasley's history is well documented. He came in as a goofball, obviously immature. Then there was the entire ordeal at the NBA rookie transition program . That was followed by the photos . Then the rehab stint , which was reported to be part of the fallout from the rookie program debacle.

This past year? Beasley kept out of trouble. He just showed up and went to work. But the work, the most important part, the element that would forgive all the rest of the shenanigans, that part suffered as well. He was constantly berated on the court by Dwyane Wade, who pretty clearly had had enough of the youngster. He was bigger, a little big to play the small forward spot, not big enough to play the power forward. Beasley's got one go-to offensive move, the pull-up 15 footer. And it is a thing of beauty. As silky as it was when he was knocking them down in Manhattan, Kansas, where he wishes he would have stayed .

But his game isn't there. He hasn't become a leader. He's still acting a clown.

All-Star Sophomore practice is a pretty ridiculous event. It's a bunch of media guys vying for time with a bunch of second year guys, mostly to ask them questions about their more famous teammates or how it "feels" to be part of All-Star Weekend. It deserves ridicule and a little bit of fun. And Beasley had his fun, dancing around the floor interviewing other players (including interrupting a riveting conversation I was having with O.J. Mayo) (it was not a riveting conversation), and playing around with Craig Sager. It was fun. Who cares? He's a big kid!

The issue is that in the context of his career, it belies a pattern of unprofessionalism. While the other players dutifully went through the process, Beasley had to stand out. It shows how he thinks of himself, where he considers himself in life. And the truth is, he's just not ready.

The Heat aren't struggling to move Beasley because of his game. It's not especially helpful being a low-rebound percentage, mid-range-jumpshot shooting tweener with questionable defense. But the kid has crazy athleticism and can shoot. That description is one of an NBA player. But the Heat can't get him out the door because of his head, and because of his reputation. If Beasley doesn't want to fade to the margins before falling through the cracks, if he wants to capitalize on the enormous amount of potential he has, he's going to have to go through substantial personal growth in a very short amount of time.

This league doesn't take care of its young, nurture them, or hold their hand. It lets the system work out its own kinks.

If Beasley can't get the kinks in his head worked out and contribute to whatever altered roster he's on, in Miami or elsewhere, he's going to be worked out, too.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com