Who could forget Michael Beasley? The savvy scorer out of Kansas State University was right there with Derrick Rose to be selected first in the 2008 NBA Draft. Rose ended up going first and Beasley second, but that was the closest the two would ever be in terms of their place in the league. D-Rose became the youngest MVP ever, and Beasley struggled to find a home in the league due to his lack of production and reported lack of discipline. Mike has always been a little quirky and misunderstood. In one of our last memories of him in the league, Beasley was asked where he and the Lakers could be as a team after a few months of playing together, to which he oddly responded, “the future.”
That is the story of Michael Beasley – extremely talented but seemingly undisciplined and misunderstood. No one wants to be labeled like that, and apparently, Beasley is determined to shake that label himself by making another run at the league much later into his basketball career. Shams Charania reports that Beasley has officially signed up to suit up for the Portland Trail Blazers in the upcoming NBA Summer League.
Beasley is a potent scorer from almost anywhere on the court that, in some ways, could be viewed as a left-handed Carmelo Anthony, another player who has made a comeback as a member of the Trail Blazers. He was a monster in college who put up numbers like 44 points and 13 rebounds, and 40 points and 17 rebounds – the dude was unstoppable. His talent is now somewhat forgotten even though he played 11 seasons in the NBA from 2008 to 2018 and at one point averaged 19 and 5 for the Minnesota Timberwolves in just his third season in the league. Beas is often remembered for his antics on and off the court, but it is important to note that as recently as the 2017-18 season, he was averaging 22.5 minutes per game for the Knicks and giving them 13 points and 5 rebounds per game on 52% shooting from the field and just under 40% from three. He even gave us a few 30-pieces when he was in New York!
Much has to change for Beasley’s comeback attempt to be successful as his size and ability to shoot are quite common in younger and more athletic players that are in the league today. However, some teams have started to load up on star power and are over the cap. Those teams might be looking to add some talent at the four spot for cheap, and that is Mike’s best shot right now. Teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers are all missing that flexibility to improve their roster.
No one is saying Beasley is the answer to their need for a rotation player, but given the pace of today’s game and the sheer lack of defense for most teams, this is a guy that can possibly give a team some scoring off the bench and take some of the load off of your main guys when playing a weaker team.
We have already seen a few redemption stories since the new decade hit, and somehow the feeling that we are due for another one in Portland is just around the corner. He may not end up with the Blazers, but despite his troubled past, don’t think that some of the contenders in the league will not even take a look at adding a once-great scorer to their roster.
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