Contract expiring, Michael Beasley wants to stay: 'I love it here'
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With the season winding down and no playoff hopes, players begin to cast their gaze towards an offseason that will see plenty of roster turnover for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Michael Beasley's future in particular has been the topic of much debate as the final days of his original rookie contract pass by. The Wolves have an $8.2 million qualifying offer that is a high price tag for a player who has been a disappointment since being drafted second overall in 2008.
But Beasley made no secret on Saturday that he hopes to be back to the franchise that traded for him after the Miami Heat essentially gave up on him after two seasons, shipping him to Minnesota for two second-round picks.
"Like I've said before many times, I would love to comeback and be a Timberwolf," Beasley said. "I love it here."
Beasley's season has once again been hampered by injuries. He has played in only 42 of the 62 games this season and is averaging 11.2 points per game, down from 19.2 a season ago. Beasley lost his starting spot after spraining his foot early in the season and has come off the bench in his last 33 appearances.
He has taken the demotion of sorts in stride and continues to say the right things but does admit to frustration by the inconsistent minutes.
"My situation is a little different than others," Beasley said. "Of course, it is frustrating, but I am here for the team. I am not here for myself. I am only one person. I am here for the team. As long as we progress and go forward as a team, I am happy.
"But as far as me and the summer time, where I want to play, if I am going to return, I am just going to let everything play itself out."
The theme of Beasley's inconsistent two years in Minnesota has been injuries. He suffered a sprained ankle at the turn of the calendar that held him out of nine games. Anxious to get back on the court, Beasley never really allowed the injury to fully heal, making him ineffective and slowing any momentum he gained from a positive first two months of the season.
Beasley admits he can't help but think about where he might be if it weren't for the two injuries that hampered the past two seasons. But for now, he said he's just focusing on finishing this season strong and letting the summer play out however it plays out.
Wolves coach Rick Adelman said he has been specifically monitoring guys such as Beasley and Anthony Randolph and there is plenty of time left to leave an impression on him heading into the offseason.
"I would be lying if I said I didn't think about (my future). Everybody has been talking about it," Beasley said. "I just go day-by-day. It is not going to change everything I do in the summer. Still going to work out, work on my game, come back with something new."