The Miami Heat announced an agreement with Michael Beasley yesterday to resign the former No. 2 overall pick who has, well, not panned out the way many hoped — a 20-10 power forward who could score and offer tenaciousness (that’s a word) all over the court. Instead, he chilled his tenaciousness (still a word) with the ganja, never developed as a consistent scorer and couldn’t even carve out a major role on the Phoenix Suns or Minnesota Timberlwolves.
Yet, here we are. Beasley back in Miami. Here are some major questions facing Beasley and the Heat, and some answers.
QUESTION #1: How much playing time will Beasley get?
I guess the appropriate way to word this would be, “How much playing time will Beasley earn.?” because that is what he will have to do. Unlike the Suns and unlike the Wolves, Beasley won’t be handed minutes. Remember when he was handed the starting job over Udonis Haslem, the ninth-to-seventh best player in Heat history? Yeah, that won’t happen again. At least, not this season (see question No. 2 for more on this).
Expect Beasley to compete with Rashard Lewis and James Jones for playing time. He could end up anywhere from the 11th to the 9th man.
QUESTION #2: What can Beasley offer?
Beasley is more than you run-of-the-mill, under-achieving, pot-smoking power forward with elite scoring potential… well I guess he isn’t.
But he is something I thought the Heat needed all along — a stretch 4. Battier isn’t a true stretch 4. He can’t handle the minutes. Neither was Miller and Lewis didn’t show enough consistency to do it last season (though I expected him to step up in Mike Miller’s absence, maybe the Heat aren’t so confident he can).
I also wrote about Haslem likely playing fewer minutes next season as the offense continues to grow away from him and he continues to age.
The Heat don’t need him to score a ton, something that liberated Ray Allen, Mike Miller and even Chris Andersen to a degree in Miami. Should he become a decent rebounder and someone who can hit the corner three consistently (which he can do), then it will be a perfect match. As long as he doesn’t get busted for smoking pot, cause rifts in the locker room and be incredibly immature like he has been throughout his entire NBA career.
QUESTION #3: Is Beasley guaranteed a spot on the regular season roster?
To put it simply, no. He was signed to a minimum, non-guaranteed contract. He will have to battle it out in training camp just like Vander Blue, Eric Griffin and Justin Hamilton. The difference? Beasley has legitimate NBA experience, No. 2 overall skill and size that the team wants.
So for a slightly more complex answer, then, there is a 96 percent chance that he makes the team, 1 percent chance that he doesn’t, and 3 percent chance Walter White locks him in an industrial freezer for the rest of time.
QUESTION #4: Does Beasley help keep LeBron in Miami?
I’ve seen this comment/question/statement pop up on Twitter a lot. That’s stupid. You think that LeBron James is sitting their saying “Woah, we got Michael Beasley? Damn. Now ima definitely stay.” NO HE IS NOT SAYING THAT. Again, that’s stupid.
But Pat Riley was concerned with depth and, more specifically, youth on the bench. If Beasley makes the team (he will) and plays better than Lewis and Jones (I would bet my Michael Vick-rookie card on it), then maybe, just maybe LeBron sees a future in Miami with Greg Oden and Beasley. Mayyyyyybeeeeee.
QUESTION #5: Okay, enough about what Beasley can do for the Heat. Can the Heat help Beasley?
I think so. This is a very strong, family oriented locker room from the top down. If Chris Andersen can stay out of trouble for a few months, I believe that this locker room can turn water into wine, or Squirt into beer. I do think he is on a one-strike leash though. Meaning, one failed drug test, arrest, whatever and he’s gone. This season is about winning a championship, not drama or even building depth for next season.
But you know what would be awesome? If Birdman and Beasley go insane together, like Beasley is the gasoline to Birdman’s fire and they start binging on crack cocaine, meth and bath salts, show up to play the Celtics and start yelling at who-they-think-to-be Kevin Garnett but is actually Kris Humphries.
Then Birdman and Beasley are waived by the Heat and star in their own reality TV show called… you guessed it! Birdman and Beasley! It comes on right after 16 and Pregnant. On the next episode of B&B, Chris and Mike decide to give each other the tattoos from “Dude, Where’s My Car?”, Mike gives Chris “Dude” while Chris accidentally tats Mike “Sweat.” Come on, you know you would watch that.