Phoenix Suns: Time To Give Up On Michael Beasley?
When the Miami Heat selected Michael Beasley with the second pick in the 2008 draft, there was a great feeling of optimism in the air. Beasley was coming off a season at Kansas State in which he had been absolutely electrifying.
He basically scored at will all season long, even more than Kevin Durant had at Texas the previous year. There was no reason to believe that Beasley wasn’t going to be a phenomenal NBA player.
Beasley is now in his fifth year in the league, and sadly the results have been decidedly underwhelming. Beasley has scored at a decent clip and, at times has shown glimpses of great potential, but the overall product has been mediocre at best. The odds of Beasley ever becoming a great player are dwindling rapidly, if they haven’t already gone down to zero.
After his first season, it didn’t look like it would be this way. Beasley was a significant contributor to the Heat right away. After a dreadful 2007-08 season in which they only won 15 games, the 2008-09 team qualified for the playoffs and Beasley’s play was a big part of that.
It wasn’t unreasonable to think that he and Dwyane Wade could be partners in crime for years to come.
In his second season, Beasley didn’t make much progress, but he didn’t regress either. Once again, the Heat qualified for the playoffs, but couldn’t get out of the first round. Their solid season was all for naught when the Boston Celtics took them down in five games.
We all know what happened next; the Heat formed a super team, bringing in LeBron James and Chris Bosh. This didn’t leave a whole lot of room for Beasley, so he was shipped to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who now dreamed of having Beasley as a franchise savior.
Things got off to a promising start there, as well. Beasley averaged 19 points a game in his first season with the Wolves, and while the team didn’t win too many games, there was reason to believe they had the pieces in place for a bright future and that Beasley was one of their biggest pieces.
That optimism dissipated rapidly in Beasley’s second year in Minnesota. He was an inefficient player who struggled mightily at putting points on the board and the team seemed to play better when he wasn’t on the court.
In an offseason interview, Kevin Love was asked how the Wolves had gotten better in the offseason. He replied by saying the team had gotten rid of a lot of “dead weight.” While he did not make specific reference to Beasley, many speculated he was at least one of the players he was talking about.
As he hit the free agent market, Beasley was walking on thin ice. Two teams had already decided they no longer wanted his services. Where would he end up now?
The Suns saw potential in Beasley and quickly added him to the roster. Once again, the move was surrounded by optimism; surely, this would be where Beasley put it all together, and those first two stops were just roadblocks on his way to becoming a first-rate NBA player.
Instead, Beasley has sunk further into the abyss. When the season began, he was part of the Suns starting lineup and many thought he was good enough to thrive as a first option.
Unfortunately, he floundered in this major role and quickly found himself admonished to the bench. Now, he struggles to find minutes and is barely even a part of the Suns’ rotation. His selfishness and inefficiency has placed him in yet another coach’s doghouse.
So, is it time to abandon the dream of Michael Beasley ever becoming an elite NBA player? I would say yes.
If he had something special to show us, he would’ve shown it by now. He was an excellent college player for sure, but his skill set simply doesn’t translate to the NBA. It would not be surprising if he continued to struggle for playing time as his career flounders along.
Beasley is not going to be an NBA star. The Suns have already realized it and everyone else is figuring it out, too. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him out of the league within the next five years.
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John Hugar lives in Buffalo, where he is finishing up undergraduate work at the University at Buffalo. His work has appeared at 3 Shades Of Blue, The Classical, and Bleacher Report. He's been a Grizzlies fan since day one, during their time Vancouver and Memphis.