With all the success the Miami Heat have experienced in recent years, the days of Michael Beasley seem like an entire lifetime ago. The former #2 Kansas State star, Michael Beasley joined the Miami Heat in 2008 as the second pick in the draft–following 2011 MVP Derrick Rose–an abysmal 15-67 season–the worst in the NBA and tied for the worst in Miami Heat franchise history. But since then, the Heat have seen Dwyane Wade re-emerge as a superstar in the league, the addition of future hall-of-famers, made three appearances in the NBA Finals–winning two of them–and all of this happened without Michael Beasley.
Largely serving as a reserve on a 23-win Phoenix Suns team, Beasley average 10.7 points, shooting 42% from the field with 7.8 efficiency rating–231st in the NBA. By comparison, players such as Nick Young and Shaun Livingston were more efficient in the NBA last season. But it wasn’t his play that made him a free agent this late into the summer.
Beasley was recently released by the Suns after being arrested in Arizona for marijuana possession.
“Michael had the best years of his career with us,” Heat president Pat Riley told Yahoo! Sports. And that’s to say the least.
“We felt Michael had two very good years in Miami. We feel he will have a very productive career” Riley said in earlier interview when the Heat traded him to Minnesota in 2010, a trade that ultimately resulted in the signings of LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
Now, in 2013, the Miami Heat have brought him back on a non-guaranteed contract. It’s been the latest move for the Heat who have made it their modus operandi to sign low-risk, high reward veterans–such as Chris Andersen, Greg Oden, and to a lesser extent Shane Battier–to the championship core of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh.
“We feel that he can help us,” Riley said.
And with the chance at a third consecutive title on the line–going up against the continually improving top-tier on NBA teams–and the possible impending free agency of the “Big 3,” the Heat will need all the help they can get. Beasley’s entering a high pressure situation, playing on his first title contender.
This isn’t 2008 anymore.