One-On-One with Malik Beasley

By Matt Dykstra | January 4, 2017

Malik Beasley spent one season with the Florida State Seminoles in which he started 33 out of 34 games and averaged 15.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Beasley scored in double figures 30 times in his 34 games, including as streak of 24-straight games to begin his collegiate career.

Beasley was awarded All-ACC Honroable Mention (Coaches), ACC All-Freshman Team (Coaches), ACC All-Freshman Team (Media), and ACC Freshman of the Week on three different occasions.

After his freshman year, he decided to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft. He was selected in the first round with the 19th overall pick in the draft by the Denver Nuggets, and has remained on the Nuggets roster since. He has appeared in 10 regular season games for Denver this year averaging 2.8 points in just 5.5 minutes per game. He also previously appeared in eight preseason games for the Nuggets averaging 5.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per contest.

He was assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce via the flex-assignment rule on December 9, 2016 and appeared in two games for the Skyforce. In his two games, he averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in just under 30 minutes per contest. Sioux Falls went 2-0 in that span, winning by an average of 11.0 points per contest. Beasley was recalled by the Nuggets on December 17, 2016.

Now, Beasley has been reassigned to the Skyforce, this time accompanied by his rookie teammate Juancho Hernangomez. Beasley returns to Sioux Falls with a slightly different mentality than the first time he came. We had the opportunity to catch up with him prior to Denver’s game against the Sacramento Kings last night in advance of today’s assignment.

Describe your time at Florida State and what that year meant to you as a player. Had you intended on leaving for the draft after just one year prior to entering college?

First of all, I miss Florida State for sure. I miss my teammates there. I miss everybody who helped me get better…helped me get to this point. There’s definitely a difference between college and the NBA, but I’m glad I’m here.

Describe your time with the Nuggets. How has their organization been able to build on the talent you already have, and what has it been like so far during your first season in the NBA? Is it what you expected?

It’s been amazing so far. The situation I’m in right now… I’m not playing much. But I’m still thankful for every opportunity I get whether it’s a minute or 15 minutes in a game. I’ve been improving every day. I’ve been working hard regardless of the situation and just trying to get better every day.

Earlier in December you were assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce and you seemed to embrace the opportunity to get better. Describe your approach while on assignment, and what you think you need to improve on as a player to be at the top of your game?

It was tough at first, just because it was the first time being sent down there. Now that I’m going down there again I’m just ready to destroy [opponents]. It was cool. I got to get a run in and that was my first time playing in a real, full game since Florida State. Especially since my surgery it was awesome to see that I still had that go.

The Skyforce has now won 18-straight home games during the regular season. Though you have a very small sample size, from what you’ve seen, what about Sioux Falls enables the Skyforce to hold such a great home court advantage over their opponents?

I’m 2-0 there. The fan base meant a lot. A lot of people say that other teams don’t have that fan base, so it was cool to see people come out and support us. I’m sure they came out to support because they know I’m a teammate of Mike Miller’s though!