T-wolves seal deal with Grizzlies for ace defender Beverley

Published 4:16 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves finalized their acquisition of ace defender Patrick Beverley, sending 2019 first-round draft pick Jarrett Culver and backup forward Juancho Hernangómez to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

The trade was agreed to in principle last week, after the Grizzlies got the 33-year-old Beverley along with veteran guard Rajon Rondo and young center Daniel Oturu from the Los Angeles Clippers for versatile guard Eric Bledsoe.

Beverley will bring feistiness and experience to a Timberwolves team short on both attributes. He averaged 7.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 22.5 minutes last season for the Clippers, shooting 39.7% from 3-point range.

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Beverley has three NBA All-Defensive team selections on his resume, first team in 2016-17 and second team in 2013-14 with Houston and second team in 2019-20 with the Clippers. Beverley, who has appeared in 59 career playoff games, will miss the season opener as punishment for shoving Phoenix star Chris Paul in the back during Game 6 of the Western Conference finals between the Clippers and Suns. Beverley drew a technical foul and was ejected.

Beverley is in the final year of his contract, set to make about $14.3 million.

The only other significant move made this summer by Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas was to trade veteran point guard Ricky Rubio to Cleveland for small forward Taurean Prince, cash and a second-round pick in 2022.

Culver was the first draft choice on the resume for Rosas. The former Texas Tech standout was picked by the Suns at No. 6 overall in 2019 for the Timberwolves and sent to Minnesota in a pre-arranged deal that shipped Dario Saric to Phoenix. The Suns went with Cameron Johnson, who was selected No. 11 overall for them by the Wolves.

The 6-foot-6 guard Culver never got comfortable in his two seasons in Minnesota, albeit a tenure interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 20.7 minutes in 97 games. His playing time decrease in his second year.

Hernangómez needed a fresh start, too, after averaging 8.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 19.9 minutes in 66 games. He suffered a shoulder injury during the pre-Olympic training with Spain’s national team, which got into a dispute with Rosas over whether Hernangómez had medical clearance to play in

Tokyo. Rosas ultimately blocked his participation in the Olympics.