When the Miami Heat signed Michael Beasley a year ago, it seemed like they made the bargain of a lifetime. A talented and troubled forward who will give them some vital scoring off the bench and LeBron James some minutes of rest. It turned out he became nothing but garbage time material in the playoffs, although that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a place to come back to.
There are actually very few players on the Miami Heat who are young. Beasley, who began his NBA career with the pre-Big Three Heat before travelling around the league and landing in South Beach again, averaged 7.9 points on only 15.1 minutes during the regular season, playing in 55 games. During the playoffs, the 25 year old had a total of only 23 minutes, averaging 5.8 minutes a night and 2.8 points. Nothing you can actually draw any information from.
So why did Beasley become such a negligible player? He’s young, and aside from LeBron James, might be the only player on the Heat with the ability to get to the rim and score points on his own, that is if you disregard the often injured or not 100% Dwyane Wade.
Well, for one, Beasley never bought in to the defensive approach or simply took more time than expected to learn. He also doesn’t quite get the offensive system, which shouldn’t be about holding on to the ball for too long. Forget about what you saw in the NBA finals from LeBron James and the others. That wasn’t the plan. That was simply a team looking helpless against a much better one.
Beasley might not be the All-Star many thought he would be when he came into this league as a number two draft pick out of Kansas State, but he is certainly capable of being a meaningful scorer on the bench for a team like the Miami Heat. Considering their cap situation and talent level at the moment aside from James, Bosh and maybe Dwyane Wade, letting go of someone like Beasley is simply something they can’t afford to do.
And how about Beasley himself? He knows that after getting kicked off the Phoenix Suns last season there isn’t a whole lot of demand for him in the NBA despite his talents. A team like the Heat kept him grounded, and he is more than willing to comeback. If he also does it for a low contract, which means around the $1 million he made last season, then it looks like he’ll have a second chance to impress in Miami with one year of learning behind him.