The best acquisition the Suns added this off-season, Michael Beasley. Beasley was the 2nd pick in the 2008 NBA draft coming out of Kansas State averaging 26 points and 12 rebounds during his one season there. His ability to score and rebound in college was nothing short of elite and there was a serious debate around the time of the draft on whether it should be Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley being the 1st overall pick. Obviously at this point Chicago made the right choice. Beasley has some serious talent no doubt about it, but he’s been his own worst enemy in regards to his shortcomings as an NBA player. During Beasley’s two year stint in Miami he often dealt with issues involving marijuana and was at one point checked into a rehab clinic. After being traded to Minnesota he was once again pulled over by a cop and caught with marijuana in his car. After not playing so well his two years in Minnesota they didn’t offer him a qualifying offer and ultimately he wound up with the Suns. So what can we expect of Michael Beasley?
1) What can we expect of Michael Beasley during his year with the Suns?
– Scoring. That’s the only thing Beasley has been able to prove that he can do well. Odd thing though, great rebounders in college their rebounding tends to translate to the NBA however Beasley’s rebounding dominance in college hasn’t translated at all. Beasley ranked 15th among all small forwards in rebounding rate last season which isn’t great.
2) Will Michael Beasley ever live up to his potential?
– Honestly at this point it’s a coin toss; players like Beasley tend to strive in the Suns offense where quick shots are encouraged as long as it’s a decent look. Beasley was never happy in Minnesota and at times struggled with injury. Beasley now comes to the Suns where he has freedom on offense, a world-class training staff to keep him healthy and a player’s coach in Alvin Gentry tends to get young players to respond to him(I.E. Dragic, Dudley, Lopez).
3) Where are some areas where Michael Beasley can improve?
– Two things play making and post play. Beasley was ranked second to last in assist ratio among small forwards during last season. Beasley’s ability to score will often draw double-teams which gives him an opportunity to set up teammates thus making his teammates better and making him better. Beasley is also a BIG small forward standing tall at 6’10 and weighing in at 230. He’ll have a size advantage over most small forwards he goes up against and with his size and length it’s just a shame that he often just drifts on the perimeter.
4) Can Michael Beasley leave his baggage behind and turn a new page?
– I will go on record and say yes. Beasley went from a country side environment to the party life that is Miami and was also handed about 4 million dollars in contract money. Yes he’s a professional athlete, yes he should’ve made better decisions and yes he’s been immature but let’s look at it this way, how many of you made stupid mistakes when you were 19? Imagine you had 4 million dollars when you were 19. This year is truly a make or break year for Michael Beasley, he certainly has the talent to succeed in this league, he certainly has the potential to become an all-star, and if he’s willing to put in the extra hours at the gym and extra weeks during his off-season working on his game he might even become a superstar. Good thing for Beasley he’s been given a second chance, he’s also being put on a team where the offense fits his play style almost perfectly, and Beasley is also still only 23 years old. With all that being said, the ball is pretty much in his court now and what he’s going to do with it; it’s all up to him.