Michael Beasley has it all. You could go an entire lifetime of basketball action and never come across a 6-9 forward with as diverse an array of athleticism, skills and versatility. There just aren’t many guys who can give you 20 and 10 one night and then hit five threes the next. Beasley’s problem is he is just as likely to give you two points and three rebounds like he did in the Miami Heat’s season ending loss to the Boston Celtics.
Many wanted to blame Beasley’s slow development on Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra’s inconsistent rotations and the organization’s insistence on Beasley improving his defense before earning starter minutes. But now, he is giving all of his detractors more ammo.
Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen told the Topeka Capital-Journal that it was Beasley who convinced him to stay in college instead of entering the Draft.
“I talked to Mike,” Pullen said to the paper. “The two weeks right before the draft deadline, Mike spent out in Kansas. We talked and he said if he could re-do everything, he’d have stayed all four years.
“He said to think about it and not just worry about the money. Think about the experiences you want to be part of, because once you make that decision it’s your life. It’s a job. It’s not fun anymore.”
Beasley’s problems were never about talent, but rather his emotional makeup. Does he really want to be great? Will he put in the work to ever be more than what he is right now? What Pullen told the Topeka Capital-Journal begs the question: Does Beasley really love to play?
Beasley’s name has been in rumors since the trade deadline last season- including one incredible situation where the Nets were rumored to have turned down a swap of Beasley for Keyon Dooling – and you can expect him to be involved in discussions throughout the summer. ESPN’s Chris Sheridan reports:
But even if [Heat president Pat] Riley is able to land one extremely heavy hitter in free agency (that list begins with LeBron James and continues with Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer), he isn’t going to have enough room to get that second stud if he still has Beasley on the roster making $4.96 million. And sources have told ESPN.com that Miami, fed up with Beasley’s lack of devotion to defense and his steep learning curve in the maturity department, tried diligently to move Beasley before the trading deadline in February but found no takers willing to give up anything more than garbage. So if Beasley can be moved before the draft for a player with only a partial guarantee for 2010-11, or if the Heat can arrange an uneven deal (in terms of salaries) and send him to an under-the-cap team in a trade that would be consummated after the league’s one-week moratorium on player movement ends July 8, look for Riley to go for it.
So just two years after taking him with the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Heat seem very willing to move on without Beasley.
What do you think?
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