Drafted 2nd overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Michael Beasley was supposed to be the guy who helped Dwyane Wade return to championship glory. Flash forward 5 years, and things didn’t quite play out the way we thought they would. Now, Beasley had a promising rookie year; averaging 13.9 points and 5.6 rebounds a game on 47.2% shooting from the field. Don’t forget a blistering 40.7% from 3 as well.
Things weren’t quite as rosy for Beasley in his second season, but he wasn’t terrible. Beasley posted 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds a game, but his shooting percentage dropped to 45%, and his 3 point percentage plummeted to 27.5%. His shot selection wasn’t bad, as the majority of his shots came within 5 feet of the basket (322 attempts). After the 2009-2010 season, Beasley was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an attempt to clear cap space for Lebron James and Chris Bosh. In Minnesota, coach Kevin McHale let him do whatever he wanted, and it wasn’t exactly ideal. Although he averaged a career high in points at 19.2, it took him 17 shots to do so, and he was a – in the +/- category all season long. His shot selection became questionable, as he took 76 shots from beyond 25 feet. Michael Beasley was starting hurt more than help.
Enter Rick Adleman. In 2011, the Wolves hired Rick Adleman as their coach, and at an older age, he wasn’t going to put up with nonsense. In June 2011, Beasley was ticketed for possession of marijuana and speeding in Minneapolis. That would be foreshadowing to the kind of season the forward would have. Beasley played only 47 games that season, due to a myriad of reasons. Adleman runs an offense that involves back door cuts and open 3 pointers for guys like Beasley, but he wouldn’t play in the role he was given, and he fell out of the rotation. Beasley would later sign with the Suns for 3 years and 18 million dollars in Phoenix.
Beasley played abysmal for the Suns, as he averaged only 10 points a game on more shots than points last season. He played sporadic minutes, and he was part of the dumpster fire that was the Suns’ 2012-13 season. He was even quoted as saying he quit listening to the coaches. To put the cherry on top, he was arrested in August for possesion of marijuana. This isn’t the only time, as noted before, but Beasley also admitted to violating the drug policy twice in 2009, and at the Rookie Symposium, he was busted for weed. Clearly, something doesn’t click with Beasley, and he just doesn’t get it. If you recall, he had claimed that was all in the past during his introductory press conference for Phoenix:
“I realize 10 minutes of feeling good is not really worth putting my life and my career and my legacy in jeopardy,” he said then, “so I’m confident to say that that part of my career, that part of my life, is over and won’t be coming back.”
Michael Beasley was waived on September 3rd by the Suns, and many wondered if he had played his last game in the NBA. According to an earlier report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, his former team, The Miami Heat, were considering bringing the troubled forward back. The rumor was quickly squashed, but never doubt the reporting power of Wojnarowski:
The Miami Heat have reached agreement with free agent forward Michael Beasley to join training camp, source tells Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) September 11, 2013
The key words here are training camp. Without a lot of details, this deal seems non-guaranteed, or at the most, partially guaranteed. Beasley will have to prove he’s willing to accept a role, and that he has really got his head on straight. The problem with Beasley isn’t talent, it’s mental stability. He seems to just not get it, and after 5 seasons, he still doesn’t get it. This is his last chance. Surrounded by leaders like Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and Pat Riley should bring him some stability. If he doesn’t shape up, there’s a chance he doesn’t make the team. Unlike in Phoenix and Minneapolis, the Heat don’t need him. They are the favorites with or without him, and he will be given a role to stick with.
I don’t like the signing, because it bring unneeded attention to a attention magnet. The guy won’t be a positive, and there would have to be time to talk to him about shaping up. Also, there’s the matter of on court fit. Beasley would essentially become a spot up shooter, and there’s a chance he may not be on board. When you look at the way the Heat are constructed, they have Lebron James and Dwyane Wade as the primary ball handlers, and they drive and kick to find the plethora of shooters that Riley has surrounded them with. There won’t be a chance to dominate the ball, or play in the post–just ask Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh. After all is said and done, and Beasley doesn’t work out, he will be out of the league. Nothing he says matters anymore, he has to prove that he really has put the questionable behavior, on and off the court, behind him. For the former number 2 pick, this is his last chance.