Jan 11, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley (5) gestures in the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

When Malik Beasley was acquired by Minnesota from Denver it didn’t take long for him to carve out a role with his new team: 3-point sniper.

After seeing minimal playing time with the Nuggets, who selected the Florida State product No. 19 overall in the 2016 draft, Beasley broke out in his 14 games with the Wolves in February and March 2020, averaging 20.7 points while making 42.6% of his 3-point attempts.

In 37 games last season, which included 36 starts, Beasley averaged 19.6 points and made just under 40% of his shots from behind the arc.

Beasley’s duties with Minnesota have changed a bit this season – he’s now coming off the bench and playing fewer minutes, 27.0 this season compared to 32.8 last year. But he’s still draining those 3s.

Playing in all 43 Wolves games this season, with nine starts, Beasley has drained 130 3-pointers. His rate of 4.0 makes per 36 minutes is the best of his career.

The 130 3-pointers are already the sixth most in a single season in Wolves history. He’s just nine behind Isaiah Rider in 1994-95 for fifth and need just 61 to pass Kevin Love’s 190 in 2013-14 for tops in franchise annals. It’s not a matter of if but when Beasley will be atop that list.

Beasley is also marching up Minnesota’s leaderboard in all-time 3-pointers despite having played just 94 games with the Wolves. He recently passed Rider (295), Zach LaVine (300) and Ricky Rubio (304) and now has the sixth most in team history. Wally Szczerbiak (343) and fifth place are in sight. There’s an outside shot Beasley could pass Kevin Love (440) for fourth place as well this season.

But, as we’ve seen recently, Beasley can drain 3s in bulk.

Sunday against Golden State, Beasley helped turn a Wolves deficit into a comfortable win by hitting five 3-pointers over a seven-minute span from late in the third quarter to early in the fourth.

That game marked the 11th time this season in which Beasley made five or more 3-pointers. That set a Wolves record for 5+ 3s in a game in a single season which was set … last season by Beasley, with 10. He’s presently the only Wolves player to have 10 games with 5+ 3s in a single season. 

Beasley has 24 such contests with Minnesota, also the most in Wolves history. Anthony Edwards is next with 17 (Edwards has nine games with 5+ 3s this season), Love had 16, D’Angelo Russell has 14 (including five this season) and LaVine and Karl-Anthony Towns 13. No other Minnesota player has had more than seven such games over their Wolves career. 

Among Beasley’s prolific shooting games this season was him hitting seven from downtown at Utah on Dec. 23, which tied his high with Minnesota. He’s had four games with the Wolves in which he’s drained seven or more 3-pointers and, yup, that’s also the most in Wolves history. 

In the NBA this season, there are six players, including Beasley, who have at least 10 games with five or more made 3s. The other five – Golden State’s Steph Curry (22), Sacramento’s Buddy Hield (16), Toronto’s Fred VanVleet (13), Brooklyn’s Patty Mills (11) and Memphis’ Desmond Bane (10) – all average more minutes than Beasley by at least two per game (VanVleet averages a league-high 38.0). 

Perhaps Beasley will catch VanVleet and maybe Hield soon. He has been on quite the streak lately.  

Of his 11 games with 5+ 3s, five of those have come in Minnesota’s last 13 games, dating back to Dec. 21.  

For what it’s worth, Minnesota’s next two opponents – New York on Tuesday and Atlanta on Wednesday – are seventh and eighth in the NBA in most 3-point makes allowed per game this season. 

Keep an eye on Beasley – and the Wolves record book.

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