The latest page in Mike Beasley’s controversial NBA career has been written. The former threat to Derrick Rose as the top pick in the 2008 draft has been released by the Suns after a tumultuous year in Phoenix.
Suns release Mike Beasley
“The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix,” Suns president Lon Babby said. “However, it is essential that we demand the highest standards of personal and professional conduct as we develop a championship culture. Today’s action reflects our commitment to those standards. The timing and nature of this and all of our transactions, are based on the judgment of our basketball leadership as to how best to achieve our singular goal of rebuilding an elite team.”
Looking for building blocks for the future and infatuated with Beasley’s scoring potential, the Suns shortsightedly handed the lefty a three-year contract worth $18 million last summer. Although Beasley’s 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game suggest he wasn’t a total nightmare on the court, his actions and legal trouble off the court made him a serious liability to the organization.
Beasley was guaranteed $9 million over the final two years of his contract – $6 million this season and $3 million next season. But Babby told Sheridan Hoops that the Suns negotiated the total down to $7 million and will pay him $4.66 million this season and $2.33 million over the ensuing three seasons.
As one NBA scout told Randy Hill of FoxSportsArizona, Beasley still has the physical gifts to be a special talent in the NBA. However, the scout concluded by speculating that Beasley’s flawed attitude will keep him from ever reaching his potential:
“ … he’s just not engaged all that often away from the ball,” the scout said. “At both ends, his focus drifts and it just kills what his team is trying to accomplish . . . whether it’s rotating or closing out in time or with effort on defense or making a hard cut on offense. He has the physical tools to succeed but rarely plays with a fire. Even when he has the ball, you can see that in how he tries to finish at the basket.”
Beasley was arrested last month on suspicion of marijuana possession. A police report from the incident says narcotics were confiscated from Beasley’s car after he was stopped for a traffic violation.
Now, onto other news from around the league…
Raptors waive Richardson
Richardson, who was picked up by New York just in time for the 2013 postseason, is arguably the biggest winner of the NBA’s offseason. After struggling to earn a roster spot with any team last season, the 33-year-old signed on with the Knicks and was later used as an integral piece to facilitate July’s Andrea Bargnani trade.
To make the contracts in the Bargnani trade work, the Raptors agreed to give Richardson a “magic envelope.” Richardson signed a $1.4 million guaranteed contract with New York with the knowledge that he would be traded to Toronto and subsequently waived.
Richardson will now be getting paid by two different teams just to sit on his couch. Last October, the Orlando Magic swallowed over $5 million to waive the aging veteran as well.
Sullinger arrested on domestic charge
MyFoxBoston.com reports Celtics big man Jared Sullinger has pleaded not guilty in a domestic violence-related charge on Tuesday.
Sullinger allegedly pinned his girlfriend to a bed and to the floor repeatedly. He was released on $5,000 bail with conditions. The 21-year-old turned himself in to the Police at approximately 6:00 AM on Tuesday morning.
Sullinger released a statement in which he called the experience “humbling and embarrassing.”
“I know that this situation has brought both sorrow and embarrassment to my girlfriend, my family, the Boston Celtics organization, my teammates, and my fans,” he said. “To all of you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”
In a statement, the Celtics acknowledged the situation:
“The Celtics were disappointed to learn of the allegations against Jared and are currently gathering more information on the situation, which we are taking very seriously. We will reserve further comment until such point that we have sufficient additional information.”
Sullinger averaged six points and nearly six rebounds in 45 games with the Celtics as a rookie.