Beasley Will Walk Thin Line With New Suns

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HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – Ryan McDonough, the 33-year-old rookie general manager of the Phoenix Suns has been on the job for some 80 days and already he’s showing some moxie.

Since drawing some blank stares as if his pick of Maryland big man Alex Len at No. 5 was a desert mirage while Kentucky 7-foot center Nerlens Noel, long projected to go No. 1, or Kansas scoring guard Ben McLemore stood in plain view, McDonough has now begun to rattle the thin roster he inherited.

He turned solid, if unspectacular, guard-forward Jared Dudley and a second-round draft pick into potential All-Star-quality guard Eric Bledsoe and veteran forward Caron Butler. Now, McDonough is on the verge of unloading fast-declining forward Luis Scola, an ill-fit in new coach Jeff Hornacek‘s favored up-tempo offense, in a trade with Indiana that will reportedly net lanky and athletic journeyman Gerald Green and project center Miles Plumlee, plus a lottery-protected first-round pick.

Not that those trades will launch the Suns into playoff contention, but the additions fill two key areas on McDonough’s list as he remakes the roster: athleticism and a fundamental work ethic. Which delivers us to the doorstep of the one player on the roster [note: my speculation only] McDonough would love to jettison if only he could: Michael Beasley.

Asked during the Las Vegas Summer League if he believes the always tantalizing, but troublesome 6-9, 235-pound power forward can be a positive force during this important transitional season, McDonough answered with a team-wide message — one that should resonate loudest between Beasley’s ears.

“I guess what I’ll say generally about that is we’re going to treat everybody the same,” McDonough said. “There won’t be any special treatment for anybody on the roster and as Jeff [Hornacek] and I told all the guys coming in, we don’t care how much money you’re making, where you were drafted, how long you’ve been in the league, what, if anything, you’ve been promised in the past. We’re going into this as an open competition, and when training camp comes, guys who buy in and play the right way and play hard will play, and those who don’t, won’t.”

In a league brimming with bright, young talent, Beasley, 24, has been far more raging headache than headstrong virtually since the day the Miami Heat drafted him second overall in 2008. Last summer, inexplicably, the gracious Suns, Beasley’s third team, handed him a three-year, $18 million deal. Still, Beasley ignored the cue that this was his big shot at a second chance, an opportunity to turn around his selfish and tiresome act, as well as his floundering career.

Former Suns coach Alvin Gentry benched the unproductive Beasley last season in fourth quarters as early as December, and finally stripped him of his starting job. Following the fired Gentry, interim coach Lindsey Hunter had no answers for Beasley’s inattention to defense or just about anything else.

Imagine if the Chicago Bulls had selected Beasley No. 1 over Derrick Rose? The Heat at No. 2 could have drafted No. 4 Russell Westbrook, No. 5 Kevin Love, No. 6 Danilo Gallinari, No. 7 Eric Gordon or No. 10 Brook Lopez.

If Beasley doesn’t answer this wake-up call, he won’t be afforded another chance. He is fortunate the NBA is not the non-guaranteed-contract world of the NFL, where a player can be cut and his contract flushed in a moment’s notice. It’s the only reason he has a job today.

Beasley averaged career lows across the board last season. His poor play and worse attitude drained a club that was already outmanned on most nights. But it’s not just on the court that Beasley will be expected to reform. His inability to stay out of hot water off remains troublesome. In May, police were investigating Beasley in connection with a report of sexual assault at his home.

The 2013-14 Suns will need a lot to come together fast to contend for the eighth seed. But under Hornacek’s guidance and with blue-collar players like P.J. Tucker along with twins Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris — all three of whom played on the Suns’ summer-league squad — and the additions of the up-and-coming Bledsoe and a tough-minded, respected veteran like Butler, Phoenix will play hard.

Beasley will either take this last, flashing-neon-sign-of-a-hint that his career is on the line, or, as McDonough said, he won’t.

24 Comments

  1. squala96 says:

    Beasley may have just lost his motivation quickly. From a starter in Miami to coming off the bench in lesser teams, it’s not surprising why. The Lakers should have taken a chance on him. He might get inspired again playing in a team with a proven track record and alongside Kobe. Now that they’ve amnestied Metta, they need a proper replacement, and I don’t think that Young and Johnson are the guys for that.

    • yolooooo says:

      You are not given things in life, You have to earn it, people dont give you education or jobs without you working hard for it. Same thing goes for nba players, basketball is their job and they are getting paid extremely well for doing it.
      So beasley have to prove everyone wrong, put some work into his game, show some motivation and hard work to his coaching staff, if not, well I dont think he will se another contract on his table again thats for sure.

  2. John says:

    WOW as a Suns fan and someone that is really pulling for Beasley, I thought it was all over for him until I just read the Lakers option. I think that would be a perfect fit! Think about Lamar Odom, he was nearly in the same position when he went to LA. Beasley has seemingly left the drugs alone, but his motivation and energy is just dead weight for the Suns. LA, make a play and strike it rich if you can wake the guy up.

  3. Brian Scalabrine says:

    He has the talent, he just has no motivation. He was just like that in college too, people forget. He was just so much better than the rest of the competition that he didn’t have to work that hard to put up big numbers. You can’t do that in the NBA, it turns out everybody there used to be a star in college. Even me, believe it or not.

  4. alibaba says:

    The nightmare team
    C Andrew Bynum
    PF Kwame Brown
    SF Michael Beaseley
    SG …… (still open)
    PG Delonte West

    Coach: Mike D’Antoni

  5. Bigtimpartytim says:

    I’d love to see Beasley on a team like the Spurs of Bulls. Greg Popovich would find out some way of making him a productive player. He could be a great 6th man

  6. Unkle Daddy says:

    There is only two coaches I think could get this guy turned around (if possible) One) Pop, he’s not playing for the Spurs, though Two) coach Carl. So, bring back the Sonics, send Beasley to Seattle and hire coach Carl. Then to balance another western team we need an eastern team in Kentucky or Virginia.

  7. LA-Lakers@Manila says:

    You are right!! He fits in LAKERS!!! They would need a replacement for Ron.. Jennings would really be a good pick.. Hey Bob, who is Josh Selby?? It’s a pity that his talent has been wasted.. Maybe LA can pick him up.. LA will make him a star.. Anyway, GO LA!! BELIEVE!!

  8. Bob says:

    Over the years, I have been a pretty good amateur judge of talent. Michael Beasley was someone that I thought was supremely talented, but very raw. I, still, think that he isn’t done. When highly motivated, he can be a beast. But, he is way under performing.
    I would like to see him get his act together and get a top tier career. And, the Lakers would be a good place for him. He will sink or swim with Kobe riding him to get it right. He has averaged 19.2 over a complete season just 3 years ago and he is 24 years old. He has too much talent to give up on this early.
    I have a soft spot for Josh Selby, too. He was the #1 PG in High School over Kyrie Irving. During the lock out, he was lighting it at the Melo League. He was the co_MVP with Damien Lilliard in the Summer League last year. Then, rotted on the Memphis bench that lacked scoring. That kid is a lead guard rather than a point guard, but he has to get in a high tempo offense.

  9. wuffe says:

    There is no way…. no how … with all due repect to the comments above.. that the Lakers will take on a headcase that refuses to give it all he’s got. Kobe would incinerate him with his stare right where he stands, He’d never see the floor.

  10. Chitown says:

    Bro Caron is a sg/sf while Beasley a sf/pf I’m pretty sure he won’t be a bench warmer

  11. Dean says:

    I agree with Beasley being a good fit for the Lakers. I just don’t see him meshing with this team, Caron will without a doubt either start or work his way into the starting lineup. Beasley will be another bench warmer on this team, send him somewhere that knows how to handle him. Kobe will put this dude in his place for sure. I think at his best Beasley can easily put up 16 ppg and 8 rebounds, but he has to want it. Milwaukee Bucks could also use a SF as well. My biggest problem with Beasley though is he isn’t really a good enough shooter to play SF and isn’t athletic enough to play PF. His ability to score comes down to effort, or lack there of.

    • Chad says:

      Beasley is def athletic enough to play PF. he just lacks the size/bulk and length. Its crazy how someone can have the extreme talent and physical gifts of beasley but lacks the mental capacity to use it. Get in the gym beasley, work hard, stop smoking weed and get your act together. He would be a nice fit for the cavs if he got mentally right. just worry about having a headcase like that infecting a young roster. he needs strong leadership and a phil jackson/jerry sloan type head coach to get him on the right path.

    • B Radd says:

      Beasley is just lazy. The guy just needs a good push. Kobe is a workhorse and can be just what Beasley needs to save his career. At the end of the day, Beasley could be the Hollywood story the Lakers just might need on saving a falling empire. That’s right… Michael Beasley and throw in a Brandon Jennings bonus into the fold and bring together a group of misfits. Fire D’Antoni and bring in Byron Scott, a Laker, a winner. That’s right! Jennings, Kobe, Pau, Beasley aaannddd… perhaps Lamar?!?

  12. B Radd says:

    Beasley is a player the Lakers need to roll the dice. He can be a superstar and Kobe could push him in the right direction. Beasley and the Lakers are a perfect fit.

  13. Unkle Daddy says:

    It’s funny I watched when Beasley was drafted and I said this guy doesn’t need to be the #2 pick he needs to be at the middle somewhere, you could tell he thought this was it he made it, now he won’t have to do anything. If everybody thought I was a bum, I work myself like crazy to prove them wrong.