Heat President Pat Riley has made some great moves in building his team to become one of the NBA's better franchises since his arrival in 1995. But one decision that looks awfully lamentable in hindsight was his selection of Michael Beasley with the second pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. The brief marriage ran into problems from the start, and now the former college standout finds himself without a team a month before training camp.
The Phoenix Suns waived Beasley today, buying out the two remaining years on his contract and allowing him to become a free agent after he clears waivers. Suns President Lon Babby issued a strongly-worded statement, saying that the decision reflects the team's "highest standards of personal and professional conduct."
Beasley was arrested last month for possession of marijuana -- the latest in a string of problems for the former Kansas State star that began before he even put on a Heat jersey. He was fined $50,000 for his involvement in a Rookie Transition Program incident with Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur, when the two had women in a hotel room. Beasley snuck out of the room, but he later admitted to his involvement in the episode. He was benched in favor of Udonis Haslem for his rookie year. Beasley entered a drug rehabilitation program in Houston in August 2009 after he tweeted out statements like "Feelin like it's not worth livin!!!!!!! I'm done." When Beasley won the starting role in his second and final season with Miami, Erik Spoelstra still elected to utilize Haslem in crunch-time situations. Even during his stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Suns, Beasley never lived up to his college promise. It'll be interesting to see if any teams are willing to take a chance on Beasley now.
Beasley was traded in June 2010 to clear salary cap space for the Heat.