Reputation precedes basketball skills, which seems to be the main reason why Michael Beasley is still without an NBA team. He’s not returning to the Miami Heat, and the only other team showing some interest in him seem to be the Los Angeles Lakers.
Why won’t Beasley return to the Heat despite being quite the efficient scorer coming in for a veteran’s minimum and without demands for playing time or a specific role? In short – Erik Spoelstra and the coaching staff don’t like him, despite averaging 18.9 points per 36 minutes last season for the Heat, and being a rare commodity for them in a player that can create his own shot and points.
He isn’t a great defender and although he didn’t cause any trouble last season, he never got consistent playing time off the bench. In the playoffs he was only used in garbage time situations (often doing well, especially in the series against the Spurs, not that it mattered) and some might think that his fate was decided before he even had a chance to prove his true worth and that he’s a changed player and individual.
With training camps opening in three weeks, the only team that has worked out Beasley has been the Los Angeles Lakers, giving him the opportunity twice. The Lakers need all the offensive help they can get, but for now, they haven’t signed Beasley, and probably no one will unless he impresses on some team during training camp or maybe in preseason games. No one is going to give him anything more than a non-guaranteed, minimum deal at this point.
Beasley has his past hurting him. Nothing came out of his season with the Miami Heat to suggest that he is still a distraction to the team he’ll be playing on. Beasley was released by the Phoenix Suns and the Heat were probably the only ones willing to take a chance on him. Now, after a team filled with veterans got rid of him, maybe there’s no one left to take a chance on him, despite being only 25 and with an impressive points per minute ratio throughout his career.
Personality is becoming a bigger factor in the equation of weighing the decision of whether to sign a player or not. Beasley might be a changed man, but sometimes slip ups aren’t forgotten for a very long time. It’s hard to say if Beasley, a player who has averaged 13.2 points in 24.9 minutes a night in his career, is over in the NBA for now, but it seems that it’s getting harder and harder for him to find someone to take a chance on him.