As expected, the Phoenix Suns announced they have released forward Michael Beasley:
This move has been rumored to be in the works for a few weeks as a result of the reoccurring off the court problems for the 24 year old forward, who was with his third team since being drafted by the Miami Heat in 2008. He was selected with the second overall pick out of Kansas State, behind Derrick Rose and ahead of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love.
Beasley, was arrested and cited for marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia after being stopped by Scottsdale police on August 6th. The five year veteran notably said upon arrival to the Suns that his marijuana use was behind him. Back in 2011, Beasley was cited for speeding and marijuana possession. He had previously admitted that he violated the league’s drug policy twice and agreed to enter a treatment facility just two years prior in 2009.
The question now is where will Beasley end up? The Lakers have had interest in the past, most recently two seasons ago when they had a deal in place to acquire Beasley in a three team deal with Minnesota and Portland. Although, just minutes before the NBA deadline, Minnesota pulled out unexpectedly because they were hesitant to take on Derek Fisher’s contract, killing the deal which then resulted in the Lakers sending Fisher to the Rockets in a deal that landed Jordan Hill in the purple and gold.
With the Lakers having one more roster spot open, they could very well take a chance on Beasley and I think it would be a good gamble. He comes with baggage, but in a season where expectations aren’t exactly high like in years past, and young players already added in Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, and Jordan Farmar, Beasley could fit the bill for a one year tryout with the team.
Unlike in Phoenix, Beasley would not be expected to carry the load on this team, but simply be an effective piece the puzzle. With questions about his maturity, he may not be ready to shoulder the responsibility of being a “core player”.
While he has had his share of off the court issues, he is still a young player that may just need the right situation to keep him focused. He has shown promise in his young career, averaging 14.1 PPG over five seasons, including a 19.2 PPG average in 2010 with Minnesota.
With his ability to stretch the floor, Beasley at 6’10 could fit the role that Mike D’Antoni expects out of the power forwards in his offense. The other positive for Beasley would be being surrounded by veterans like Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash.
We are sure to hear more about this situation as it unfolds. We’ll keep you updated here at LakerNation.com!