Former FSU basketball first-round pick enjoying career year so far in Minnesota

After an inconsistent start to his NBA career, Malik Beasley is finally starting to find his groove. Through the first portion of the 2020-21 NBA season, Beasley has posted career-highs across the board in a starting role for the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Beasley was apart of the historic 2016 recruiting class for Florida State basketball. In addition to himself, Dwayne Bacon (Orlando Magic) and Terance Mann (Los Angeles Clippers) are all on active NBA rosters. In his lone season in Tallahassee, Beasley averaged 15.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Back in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets selected Beasley with the 19th pick in the first round. Scouts and draft analysts projected the 6’4, 190 lbs shooting guard to bring energy and athleticism to the court from day one. 

His college production did not translate as much as Denver had hoped, which resulted in him being traded by the team in February 2020. Before the season was postponed due to COVID-19, Beasley averaged 20.7 points in 14 games with the Timberwolves. 

So far this season, Beasley has picked up right where he left off. He is currently putting up a line of 19.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game (all-career highs). His 31.8 minutes per night is also a career-high. 

In his last two outings, Beasley has scored 25 and 30 points in losing efforts against the Golden State Warriors. He has scored 20 or more points in eight games this season (17 games). To put it into perspective, Beasley eclipsed 20 points just 14 times in four years in Denver. 

His increased production might have something to do with the organization putting faith in his future. Beasley signed a four-year, $60M contract with the Timberwolves in November before the season began. With contract security, Beasley has been able to leave it all out on the floor each night. 

Despite being on a team with three former top six picks (D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, and Jarrett Culver), Beasley has carved a role and held his own. In seventeen games, he has started every one. You can expect his hot start to continue throughout the season as long as he keeps his place in the Timberwolves rotation. 

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