In recent years Michael Beasley’s, or "B-Eazy’s" reputation among basketball enthusiasts has been manipulated in an unfavourable manner. The former 2008 number 2 draft pick has gone from being recognized as a late bloomer, to something of a laughing stock. Since 2008, Beasley has been involved in many incidents, Kris Habbas of SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun does an immaculate job documenting Beasley’s many mistakes here.
Despite his faults, many still believe Beasley could be beneficial to an NBA team. In fact Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders recently reported that Beasley is drawing interest from numerous NBA teams who are impressed with the maturity demonstrated last season while playing secondary role.
Several teams have expressed interest in free agent Michael Beasley. Teams like the efficiency and maturity he showed last season in Miami.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 26, 2014
With Beasley’s agent in talks with Miami as reported by the Herald’s Barry Jackson one should wonder if Beasley’s presence on this new roster could potentially be beneficial. Beasley wasn’t atrocious for Miami last season, but he hardly had enough minutes to demonstrate what he was truly capable of. In fact, despite Miami lacking youth in the postseason Beasley only appeared in 4 of 20 postseason games. While we don’t know the specifics, Coach Erik Spoelstra had his reasons for phasing his former star rookie out of the rotation as the season progressed. In 55 games played, Beasley averaged 7.9 points, and 3 rebounds (the lowest of his career). While Beasley is of course blessed with a scoring prowess unlike many others, his defence is a liability and was most likely the cause of his reduced minutes (and well, backing up LeBron James). In March I argued that Beasley should be seeing more minutes to allow LeBron rest as he was playing his backup, yet that never occurred.
Beasley is an extremely versatile offensive showmen, he’s athletic enough to drive the lane with ease, his mid range game is solid, and his ability to catch fire generally causes an influx of points.
In March 4th’s game against Houston, Beasley was one of Miami’s main scorers in what would be the team's eighth straight victory at the time, making me believe he’d finally found his niche. Nonetheless, he never seemed to regain Coach Spoelstra’s trust down the line.
The Heat have a solid roster coming into next season, but ambiguities centered around injury-prone players like Dwyane Wade, and Danny Granger constitute a true need for a secondary scorer. It's certainly possible Beasley could thrive in that role as much of the pressure he was subjected to in Minnesota and Phoenix would be alleviated.
He is already familiar with Miami’s system, and a small amount of comfortability might help sway his decision to stay. However, as we all know sports is a business first and a Heat team sans LeBron James offering a veteran’s minimum contract might not appear very tantalizing when presented to Beasley.
Beasley was a project last season - one I feel is still ongoing - and at 25 years old, I still think he can realize at least some of his potential and hopefully he does so in South Beach.