The Phoenix Suns have always valued high character, and particularly back in the Jerry Colangelo era rarely tolerated poor off-court conduct.
With the organization trying to re-establish that kind of culture, it begs the questions of whether Michael Beasley’s latest transgression involving an arrest on marijuana charges will be the final straw before management pulls the plug on his Suns tenure.
Lance Blanks’ big free agent signing suffered through a poor season last year in which he averaged 10.5 points and 3.8 boards on 40.5 percent shooting while posting a 10.91 PER. His -3.6 Wins Produced on a -.113 WP48 was worse than every NBA player aside from Kevin Seraphin (just behind WP whipping boys Andrea Bargnani and Austin Rivers), and the Suns were outscored by 11.5 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor, according to NBA.com.
Combined with his sexual assault allegations and the seeming lack of culture fit with the new Suns, it was only a matter of time before the Suns cut ties with Beasley even before this incident although as Paul Coro reports the Suns won’t be able to void the contract because of these matters.
If the Suns waive Beasley now, they can utilize the stretch provision — an addition to the latest iteration of the CBA — which allows teams to “stretch” the cap hit to later years, as Larry Coon explains in the CBAFAQ:
Individually negotiated revisions to the payment schedule are not allowed for contracts signed or extended under the current CBA. For these contracts or extensions the remaining guaranteed salary for a waived player is “stretched” and paid in equal amounts over a greater time span, as follows:
If the player is waived from July 1 to August 31, then his remaining salary is paid over twice the number of years remaining on his contract, plus one. For example, if the player is waived on August 1 with two seasons remaining on his contract at $10.2 million and $10.3 million, respectively, then his remaining salary is paid over five years (two seasons times two, plus one), in even amounts of $4.1 million per year.
If the player is waived from September 1 to June 30, then the current season is paid per the normal payment schedule, and any remaining years are stretched over twice the number of years remaining plus one as described above. For example, if the player is waived on December 1 with two seasons remaining on his contract at $10.2 million and $10.5 million, respectively, then the current season (at $10.2 million) is paid normally, and the final season (at $10.5 million) is stretched over three years (one season times two, plus one) and paid in even amounts of $3.5 million per year.
The Suns owe Beasley $9 million in guaranteed money, with this season being fully guaranteed at $6 million and next year partially guaranteed at $3 million (along with $3.25 million more that isn’t guaranteed in 2014-15). So this means the Suns can waive him in August and owe Beasley $1.8 million this year and each of the next four seasons.
Instead, it would be advantageous for the Suns to take on the full $6 million this year, and stretch him next year for $1 million each season in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. That would keep $4.2 million more on this year’s books that would not have to be paid in future seasons.
Or the Suns could just not stretch the cap hit at all and take the cap hits in the years his contract currently specifies.
With the Suns over the roster limit to begin with, it is unlikely that the $4.2 million that could be saved this year could be put to better use whereas that’s an extra $4.2 million that could be used to extend Eric Bledsoe or make a better offer to a future free agent. That future cap space is much more valuable than the shekels the Suns could save this year.
Before this incident, I favored keeping Beasley around for another year not only because he could help with the fanking (fake taking) but also because a team could be interested in his contract at some point since the Suns could acquire a player making a salary in Beasley’s range and the acquiring team could waive or stretch Beasley next offseason for the aforementioned cap hit (and overall cap savings).
However, if the Suns decide they don’t want Beasley around the team anymore, they would be wise to wait until September to stretch the cap hit over three years rather than two.
Suns buy ‘beat.la’ domain name
The “Beat LA” chant has become a staple of any game pitting Phoenix and Los Angeles teams that’s played in the Valley. The Suns hope to capitalize on the popularity of that chant by purchasing the “beat.la” domain name for $5,400, according to an LA Times report.
The domain currently boasts a Suns-themed splash page with links to “The Rivalry” and “The Memories” as well as a prominent #BeatLA hashtag. It’s an unorthodox move for a pro sports team, particularly one on the downswing, to make that kind of an investment in a domain name to tout a rivalry, yet the Suns have often been on the cutting edge of Internet/social marketing so it is no surprise to see them take a chance with this domain name.
It figures to be utilized prominently to promote home games against the Lakers and Clippers as well as the history of the rivalry, and if it is deemed to be successful, perhaps other teams will follow with similar domain acquisitions.
Suns fans can only hope there will be fewer painful memories to post on that site as the years go on.
Tags: Michael Beasley