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Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley has been suspended for 12 games without pay in the wake of pleading guilty to a felony count of threats of violence as a result of an incident last September, the NBA announced Thursday evening.
“As an organization, we fully support today’s decision by the NBA,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said in a statement issued shortly after the suspension was announced. “As we work together with Malik to advance his development as a player and a person, we look forward to seeing his growth.”
Beasley’s suspension will begin Saturday, when the Timberwolves are in Washington to play the Wizards. He will be eligible to return to the court on March 27, when Minnesota hosts the Houston Rockets.
Beasley agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors earlier this month that saw felony drug charges against him get dropped in exchange for the guilty plea. As a result, Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail, which could be served either in the county workhouse or in home confinement, after the NBA season is over in mid-May.
“We are very pleased with this outcome that will allow Malik to continue working on becoming a better person and making better choices,” Beasley’s attorney, Steven Haney, said in a statement obtained by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach after the plea was agreed upon earlier this month.
In a statement obtained by Schlabach last September, the Plymouth Police Department said officers were called to Beasley’s residence on a reported weapons offense. The reporting individuals told officers they had stopped their car in front of the house, and a “suspect walked up to their vehicle, tapped on the vehicle window, pointed a gun at them and advised them to get off of the property.”
“As the victims drove away, the suspect was observed holding the gun up to his shoulder, pointing it at their vehicle,” the police statement said.
Officers set up a perimeter to locate the individual and detected a strong odor of marijuana, according to the statement. A vehicle attempted to leave the property and was stopped by police. Three people in the car were detained and later released. A man, who identified himself as the homeowner, was outside and yelling at officers.
Officers obtained a search warrant for the property and located narcotics and numerous guns, one of which was confirmed as stolen, police said.
Beasley was traded to Minnesota last February, and signed a four-year, $60 million contract with the Timberwolves in the offseason. He has been one of the few bright spots of an otherwise awful season for Minnesota, averaging 20.5 points per game and shooting 40% from 3-point range.
The Timberwolves are a league-worst 7-26, and have lost six games in a row, as well as 10 of their past 11 games. They haven’t won two games in a row since the opening two games of the season. The team fired coach Ryan Saunders after Sunday night’s loss to the New York Knicks, and hired Chris Finch — who had been working for the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach — as Saunders’ permanent replacement the next day.