A new team is a new chance for Michael Beasley.
It seems like everyone has given Beasley a third or fourth chance at this point, but this one really might be it for Beasley. The most disappointing second overall pick since Darko Milicic continues to make promises with his talent that he has not been able to cash. His relationship with Miami soured as he unsuccessfully paired with Dwyane Wade, never quite finding his way into a comfortable role.
The promise remained unfulfilled after he was shipped to Minnesota to create cap room for LeBron James. His first year in Minnesota he found his scoring touch to post 19.2 points per game. He struggled last year coming off the bench as his famous attitude cropped up, knocked him from the starting lineup and saw his scoring average drop to 11.5 per game.
He signed a three-year deal with Phoenix, giving him his second fresh start on a young team that could really use his scoring punch... or potential scoring punch.
Beasley has had a bad reputation dog him his entire career. Coming into the Draft along with fellow freshman Derrick Rose, Beasley was the more accomplished player individually but did not have the same upside. His relaxed and laid-back demeanor did not win him over among his coaches in Minnesota and he found himself in an unsatisfactory role.
That may change as he may get the keys to his own franchise, at least initially.
With the Suns, he has an established point guard and veteran players in the post. What Phoenix lacks is that solid perimeter scoring option. Certainly Goran Dragic will try and jump in there at point guard, but he does not have the scoring talent that Beasley has.
Beasley is a scorer's scorer. Or at least he could be. His time at Kansas State seems like a decade ago, but that player still has to be there somewhere. We remember the smoothness of Beasley's 26.2 points per game and 12.4 rebounds per game in Manhattan in his only year in college as he was an AP All American.
That has not translated to the NBA.
That might be because Beasley has tried to make his living at the rim and in the least efficient area of the floor -- 16-23 feet. In all four of his seasons in the NBA, Beasley has taken the majority of his shots from this area. Last year, 26.2 percent of his shots came from this inefficient long-2 range and he hit on a solid 42.0 percent of those shots. Beasley is not a great 3-point shooter and is not a great shooter when he is not at the rim.
It is starting to sound like Beasley is who he will be as a basketball player. And that is not what made him the second overall pick in the draft.
Phoenix is hoping he can rediscover some of that college magic. Because that player was actually quite good. This might be Beasley's last chance to be a contributing player. He is running out of chances and it seems uncertain as to whether Beasley will fit into a more supporting role.
The good news is that Beasley seems to realize this and is accepting of the challenge. He has to be willing to do whatever he needs to for his team and do it with passion and effort to erase the perception that is following Beasley around.
It is a big opportunity for him. If he can deliver on his talent and his promise finally, Phoenix potentially could be a sleeper in the West. If the last four years hold true, he won't be that player the Suns need and he could be staring down a Darko-like path.
Is this the year Michael Beasley turns it around? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter by using the hashtag #SunsDay.
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@CollegeWolf Yeah, I don't think he will change. So much talent and potential wasted. I have no idea why things didn't work out for him in Miami. Another reason why these kids should stay in school and learn a bit more.
@philrsquared Yep dude, I really couldn't agree more. Two years in school would do WONDERS for a large percentage of the NCAA basketball population.