Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley
Marlin Levison, Star Tribune file
Beasley, facing uncertainty, reflects on injuries, letdown
- Article by: JERRY ZGODA
- Star Tribune
- April 20, 2012 - 12:11 AM
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. - Two games remain in a season that once held so much promise for the Timberwolves, so little time left that you might think everyone could see the future fast approaching.
Except that Wolves forward Michael Beasley can't.
"My next year is so blurry," he said recently. "I can't call it."
He will enter uncertain territory this summer, both in terms of his potential as a player and a wage earner. He will become an unrestricted free agent in July unless the Wolves extend him an $8 million-plus qualifying offer -- which is unlikely -- and will test the market as a season he calls disappointing and a step backward from a season ago.
"I really disappointed myself more this year more than anybody else," he said. "I felt like I had a strong season last year and I came in this year and my goals were set high individually and as far as the team goes, but none of those were met. It's frustrating, especially to see all my friends set where they're going to play next year with contract extensions for all of them. That's just how the ball dropped, you know?"
The Wolves didn't offer him a contract extension by the Jan. 25 deadline that saw Kevin Love sign a four-year, $61 million deal. Beasley's season has been diminished by injuries as well as by uneven play as a reserve, the role coach Rick Adelman moved him to when Beasley returned from a sprained foot in late January.
"It's everything rolled up into one," Beasley said. "I feel like I established myself last year as one of the better scorers in the NBA. This year, I wanted to be one of the better playmakers, defenders, wanted to get the team going. But it didn't work out that way. ...
"I've adapted. I can adapt to any role. But at the same time, I don't want to get comfortable in a reserve role. A reserve role is what Coach wanted and needed this year. That's really not my plans for the future. I see myself as a starter. Now I've just got to prove it."Awaiting Love, Ridnour
Adelman said Thursday that there is a good chance both Kevin Love and Luke Ridnour will return for the season's final two games, starting Sunday against Golden State.
"It's possible -- how he'll play is another thing," Adelman said of Love. "We've had guys come back but they weren't the same players. If he wants to play and the doctor says it's OK, I'm happy to put him out there. But we're going to be cautious."No love for Love's look
Something Love tweeted led teammates to believe he still might be suffering from that concussion. It was a photo taken after a barber's visit showing him with a haircut, shaved beard and creepy mustache.
"That's terrible," Anthony Tolliver said, "but I hope he keeps it."Pek plays on
Center Nikola Pekovic certainly doesn't look like a guy whose season will end early because of that bothersome ankle. He played 36 minutes Tuesday and had 11 points in Thursday's first quarter alone.
"He's tough and he has been pretty good about letting us know when he's struggling with it," Adelman said.
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