Former Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley will sign a non-guaranteed deal to join the Miami Heat in training camp, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
A source told Winderman that Miami views the invite as a no-risk situation. The Heat can bring Beasley to camp to see how he fits before decided on whether to pay him a veteran’s minimum salary. Beasley will be one of four Heat training camp invitees that could earn the two remaining spots on the roster.
Miami and Los Angeles were rumored destinations for the former Suns forward, who still has an unresolved sexual harassment investigation and a drug possession charge looming over him. Like the Heat did when they signed injury-plagued center Greg Oden, “potential” is the key selling point.
Beasley was drafted second overall by the Heat in 2008 but only lasted two seasons before Miami traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to free cap space and sign LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Minnesota allowed Beasley to play there two years before allowing him to sign with Phoenix as a free agent last summer. The Suns were the first team to pay Beasley a significant contract — three years for $18 million — and also the first team to pay him to leave.
While the Heat do have a foundation of veteran leadership, it’ll be interesting to see if Beasley can, firstly, latch on during training camp and secondly, find his way onto the court.
The latching on might be the most difficult if the Heat are looking for Beasley to do more than stay out of trouble. After all, former Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter had to make sure Beasley was paying attention during practices at the very end of an 82-game season.
“I’ll randomly just ask him, ‘What did a certain coach just say?’ just to keep him focused,” Hunter said. “And he’s like, ‘Coach, I’m not talking.’ I say, ‘I know. But you’re listening to somebody, you’re doing something.’ ”
Will Beasley be able to pick up Miami’s philosophies enough to warrant a roster spot? We’ll see.