It might be arrogance, but it might be that the Miami Heat have an eye for talent, even if it’s masked by a huge amount of personal problems. They’re willing to take a shot on Michael Beasley and give him an invite to training camp, in what might become one of the best under-the-radar pickups of this offseason.
There’s no promise Beasley ends up on the team, and to be truthful, if he keeps up taking his lifestyle choices not-too-seriously, he isn’t going to end up with the NBA champions. Rumors suggest that players on the Heat really wanted the team to go for the player who began his career in Miami, and has already played alongside Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem for his first two years in the NBA.
Is Beasley as talented as people thought he was when coming out of Kansas State, having a monster freshman season (26.2 points, 12.4 rebounds)? Nope. He’s somewhat of a tweener in the NBA, like many excellent forwards are in college. He’s probably more of a small forward, but that term is quite fluid an open to interpretations these days, especially on the Miami Heat who play so much small-ball.
The question when it comes to Beasley is how badly does he want to save his NBA career? A player averaging 10.1 points a night on double the minutes shouldn’t be in doubt of his place in the league, but the Phoenix Suns released him for a reason – Beasley just can’t get his personal life in order, and that oozes into the dressing room. That’s impossible to have on a young, yet to be established team.
The Heat are different, and more flexible to questionable players. Be it Chris Andersen, who was a bingo pickup last season, giving them big boosts off the bench en route to another NBA title, or Greg Oden, who has yet to prove he is healthy enough to make it back into the NBA.
With Beasley, it’s more about his head being in the right place. If the will to come back is here, even if it means fighting the temptations of South Beach and his own inner demons regarding his stress issues, than the Heat serve as perfect motivation for Beasley turn his career around.
There’s no doubt Beasley is no longer a number-2 draft pick; the Heat grossly overestimated him. But it might be easier simply being a role player, not even a Sixth man. Just a good, productive scorer, playing on a championship team, very limited in his role. Maybe that’s what someone like Beasley needs – the motivation to play with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (again), while probably being limited, in a good way, for the first time in his pro career. It might be the move that saves it.