Plenty of names will be floated around in the next week-plus as the NBA trade deadline approaches on March 15th. Over the next week, I am going to take a look at which players are likely to be dealt and what teams might be interested in acquiring said player. Michael Beasley‘s name has been on the trade block since the Minnesota Timberwolves used the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft on Derrick Williams. With the T-Wolves signing Kevin Love to a max deal extension, it’s almost certain Beasley will be traded since he doesn’t seem to be part of Minnesota’s long-term plan.
There have already been reports that the Lakers turned down Minnesota’s offer of Beasley for their trade exception and a first-round pick. Expect the rumors to pick up steam from here on out about Beasley since he is a restricted free agent after this season and has a qualifying offer in access of $8.1 million. Trading Beasley would open up playing time for Williams who has found sporadic minutes during his rookie season but has the shown the potential to be as good as his second overall pick status. It would also allow the Timberwolves to possibly add a needed scoring guard or more future assets (we all know how much GM David Kahn LOVES assets.)
Milwaukee: As I documented here, the Bucks will likely shop Stephen Jackson and he could be the veteran/scoring wing to help the Timberwolves get into the post-season. An offer of Jackson for Beasley and Darko Milicic would be intriguing for Milwaukee who could save some money if the elect to let Beas walk after this season but also add a true center to help fill the void in the middle left behind by the injured Andrew Bogut.
Boston: The Celtics are an aging team in need of depth and youth. Who says no to this deal: Beasley and Wesley Johnson for Ray Allen. Allen is the veteran shooter Minnesota sorely needs and would be the benefactor of playing alongside Ricky Rubio. Beasley and Johnson provide Boston with sorely needed depth on the wing while also helping them build for the future. Allen is a free agent after the season and it is doubtful he would want to re-sign with the T-Wolves so this would be more of a half-a-year rental. It might be worth it though, especially if Minnesota could get Boston to throw in one of their two first round picks.
Houston: How about Kevin Martin and Hasheem Thabeet for Beasley, Darko, and Wesley Johnson? Rockets GM Daryl Morey is all about adding assets and would acquire three in this trade for Martin, who has reportedly been unhappy about his sporadic playing time of late, and a worthless Thabeet who would come off the books for the T-Wolves after this season. On second thought, Minnesota shouldn’t even touch Thabeet because he would probably show flashes in one game and Kahn would re-sign him to a four-year $30 million deal. (Timberwolves fans are cursing my name right now for even writing this.)
Sacramento: John Salmons still has two more year guaranteed on his contract worth $15-plus million but he would provide Minnesota with a needed scoring two guard. The Kings seemingly don’t care about chemistry issues so they might be willing to dump Salmons’ contract and add another talented scorer.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.