Michael Beasley — #0 SF/PF




Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Birthday: Jan. 9, 1989

Height: 6-10

Weight: 235

Position: SF/PF

Experience: 4 years

Draft: 2008, 2nd overall by Miami

College: Kansas State

2012-13 Salary$5,750,000

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Season Outlook:  Michael Beasley’s place with Phoenix will likely be the most malleable piece to the puzzle, especially during the first half of the year. With the Suns open about the small forward’s role being more playmaker than top scorer, the hopes are high. Still, there will be adjustments within the offense and in Beasley’s aggressiveness that must be made for that to happen. The laid-back manner in which Beasley plays will be a work in progress if Phoenix hopes for him to be the player asking for the ball when the Suns are struggling.

He’s yet to put together two strong seasons in the NBA, and last year’s major regression after being a 19-point scorer in 2010-11 was, if not a reason to be worried, then at least a part of Beasley’s past that he must recover from. He has the talent, but he and the team as a whole must be patient in determining if Beasley can become a complete player. The status quo might call for Beasley being a 15 point per game scorer, but the hope is that he’ll blossom as he gets comfortable in the Suns’ system. — Kevin Zimmerman

Biography: Michael Beasley is another in a long line of basketball stars who hail from Washington, D.C. Growing up in the nation’s capital, Michael made a name for himself playing AAU ball alongside fellow D.C. native Kevin Durant. Together the duo won multiple national titles before they were old enough to drive. He continued to be successful in high school, despite bouncing around to no less than six different schools up and down the Eastern seaboard. Beasley averaged 28 points and 16 rebounds per game in his senior season and earned himself a scholarship to Kansas State. Before heading to Manhattan, Kan., Beasley starred in the McDonald’s High-School All-American game. He recorded 23 points and 12 rebounds and earned the MVP trophy.

In his only year at Kansas State, Michael quickly established himself as one of the premier players in the country. He averaged 26.2 points (third in the country) and 12.4 rebounds per game. He set many records, including most double-doubles by a freshman (28) — a mark previously held by Carmelo Anthony. He also recorded at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game an astounding 13 times. For the season, he shot nearly 54 percent from the field and 40 percent from three. Michael led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament, where they upset O.J. Mayo and the USC Trojans but were felled by Wisconsin in the second round.

Michael decided to declare for the draft after his freshman year. He was selected No. 2 overall (behind Derrick Rose) by the Miami Heat. Beasley played in Miami for two seasons. He averaged approximately 14 points and six rebounds per game during his time in South Beach. Despite starting every game he played in his second season, the Heat traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for two second-round draft picks in the summer of 2010. At the heart of Miami’s desire to deal him were Beasley’s off-the-court issues, which included a rehab stint in 2009 and an incident at the NBA’s rookie camp in 2008.

In Minnesota, Michael continued to start and truly flourish. He averaged a career-best 19.2 points per game in his first season for the T-Wolves. After a coaching change last season, his playing time and production fell off significantly. He played only 47 of the 66 games, and Minnesota’s front office decided not to extend him a qualifying offer, making Beasley an unrestricted free agent in 2012. He soon signed a three-year, $18 million deal with Phoenix, the only team he met with in free agency.

Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Beasley:

Michael Beasley teases Suns with brilliant performance in preseason finale victory over Denver

Ease is the key for Michael Beasley

Can Michael Beasley shed the bust label?

Michael Beasley ‘better as a player’ in new era of position-less basketball

Michael Beasley and the Phoenix Suns accept the past

Suns start post-Nash era by adding Michael Beasley