NBA suspends Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley for 12 games

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  • Malik Beasley
    Malik Beasley

Malik Beasley of the Timberwolves drew a 12-game suspension from the NBA on Thursday after accepting a plea bargain deal two weeks ago for a felony charge that could be reduced to a misdemeanor.

The 24-year-old guard is averaging 20.5 points for the Wolves, who have the NBA's worst record at 7-26.

"As an organization, we fully support today's decision by the NBA," Wolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said in a team release. "As we work together with Malik to advance his development as a player and a person, we look forward to seeing his growth."

Barring any COVID-19 related postponements, Beasley will be eligible to return to the Wolves on March 27 against Houston.

He is making $13.4 million this season as part of a four-year, $60 million contract he signed in November, two months after the Sept. 26 arrest.

Beasley was sentenced on Feb. 9 to 120 days in the workhouse, or home monitoring — to be served after the Timberwolves season is over — for aiming a rifle at a pregnant woman, her husband and their teenage daughter in an SUV outside his Plymouth home.

Hennepin County District Judge Hilary Caligiuri imposed strict conditions on Beasley during his three years on probation that include no alcohol or illicit drug use, with testing to confirm compliance, and a lifetime ban on possessing firearms. A felony drug count against Beasley as part of his agreement in December to plead guilty to threats of violence with reckless disregard to risk was dismissed. If Beasley successfully completes probation, his felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor.

At the time of sentencing, Beasley expressed regret for his actions and promised he has learned his lesson, but at the same time explained that "for several weeks leading up to this incident, day and night, countless vehicles … came up to my house bothering my family and myself. I was worried and in fear for the safety of us and … all this caused me to be frustrated in this situation."

Defense attorney Ryan Pacyga said afterward that some of the unwanted visitors were showing up because the $2 million home was listed on the annual Parade of Homes tour guide. Pacyga said people would "drive beyond the rope [barrier] right up to the house."

The attorney said Beasley tried to have his residence taken off the tour, but that never happened.

Beasley went on to say during sentencing that he "made some very bad mistakes. I regret it to this day. … I humbly apologize for my actions."

On Sept. 26, the couple was on the homes tour with their 13-year-old daughter and pulled up in an SUV to the home Beasley and wife Montana Yao rent, but saw it was roped off. While they were pulled over to look up another home to visit, Beasley tapped on the vehicle's window and pointed a rifle at them and shouted an expletive while telling them to get off his property.

Beasley continued to train his "all-black assault rifle with a forehand grip" and a scope at the SUV as it drove away, the criminal complaint read.

A police search of the home turned up a 12-gauge shotgun, a handgun and a rifle that matched the description given by the couple in the SUV. The officers also tended to the toddler son of Beasley and Yao in the home.

Officers detected an overwhelming odor of marijuana and soon located more than 1 ¾ pounds of the drug in the house. Yao, who filed for divorce from Beasley since the encounter with the family, allegedly told officers that the marijuana belonged to her.

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