In today’s news, the Heat added yet another weapon to their extremely deep bench. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, pessimism surrounds the Lakers’ inevitable pursuit of LeBron James.
Heat add Beasley
The Miami Heat announced today that they agreed to a contract with forward Michael Beasley. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Beasley, who was drafted by the Heat second overall in 2008 — one pick after Derrick Rose — has proven to be a lethal scorer on the court in five years in the league.
“Michael had the best years of his career with us,” said Pat Riley. “We feel that he can help us.”
Beasley played in 159 games with Miami from 2008-2010 and averaged 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in just 27.3 minutes per game. The Heat made the playoffs in both of Beasley’s years with the team.
In need of cap space to sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the Heat traded Beasley to Minnesota in the summer of 2010.
While Beasley’s talent on the court is undeniable, his immaturity off of the court has kept him from becoming a star in the league.
Beasley was waived by the Phoenix Suns at the beginning of the month after he was arrested in August on suspicion of marijuana possession.
Beasley joins Greg Oden as another potential X-Factor to Miami’s already established championship roster. If Beasley can stay focused on the court, he could very well become the team’s sixth man by the end of the season. At only 24 years old, Beasley should just be entering the prime of his career.
Lakers’ source pessimistic about team’s chances with LeBron James
While the Lakers have long been considered the optimal destination for free agents to play, there is a growing pessimism in the team’s front office about their chances of luring stars to Los Angeles next summer.
“Within the organization there isn’t a single person that believes we can bring LeBron aboard,” one source close to Lakers management said.
One reason why the team is increasingly pessimistic about the team’s chances of luring a star is that Kobe Bryant continues to develop a reputation of being a difficult teammate.
“Pau [Gasol] is a two-time champion and a five-time All-Star and he’s one of the most disrespected players ever,” notes one agent. “He gets bad press all the time.”
Another agent said the Bryant’s presence will weigh on the mind of any free agent looking to play for the Lakers “Uh, duh. Yes,” the agent said matter-of-factly.