After the Phoenix Suns decided to buy out the rest of forward Michael Beasley’s contract for $7 million, it didn’t signify an end to the 24-year-old’s NBA career. Teams who were willing to overlook his off-court issues and take a gamble on his talent might cash in without necessarily having to cash out and pay a large sum for his services—turns out that team is the Miami Heat.
USA Today Sports reported that the Heat have signed Beasley to a non-guaranteed deal that will pay him $1.027 million if he makes the team. He will return to familiar territory as the Heat made Beasley the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
“Michael had the best years of his career with us," said Heat President Pat Riley. "We feel that he can help us."
After averaging 13.9 points per game as a rookie, Beasley averaged a season-high 14.8 points per game the following season. However, there would be no third season with the Heat after Beasley was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2010 offseason.
Winning a championship may not be the miracle elixir that can cure Beasley’s past, but it can certainly help mask the legal issues, especially if he turns out to be an asset to the team. An adept scorer, Beasley can help ease some of the scoring load off of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
It appears that the back-to-back champions are certainly in a gambling mode this offseason, particularly when Miami’s cap room doesn’t allow them to go out and offer large contracts to big name free agents. Nonetheless, the recent signing of Beasley and also oft-injured center Greg Oden could work out well, but if not, the financial loss is minimal.