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Williams has worked out with Beasley and Johnson in Los Angeles this summer, and said last week that he would welcome the idea of starting his pro career in Minnesota. He didn’t see the redundant skill sets as an issue.

“I think actually it’d be hard to guard if you had three small forwards on the court at one time,” Williams said. “Wes can stretch out the defense. Beasley can stretch out the defense and so can I. Me or Beasley can play the four spot. Either way it’s going to be a mismatch if we’re both on the court at the same time.”

Johnson said he thinks they’ll figure out a way for everyone to coexist.

“His basketball I.Q. is high so I think him coming in, any type of position, I think he’ll be fine,” Johnson said.

A person with knowledge of the Timberwolves’ plans said the team has no plans to trade Beasley, either.

After coming to Minnesota from Miami last summer, Beasley averaged 19.2 points and kept his nose clean off the court as well. But a series of ankle injuries in the second half of the season derailed his fast start, and there are still questions about whether they can rely on the 22-year-old to mature into the kind of professional, focused leader the team needs.

Maybe having another lottery pick to compete with for minutes will be just the motivation Beasley needs.


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