The Michael Beasley experiment has finally ended for the Phoenix Suns. Yesterday, the team released the small forward. After he clears waivers, the former No.2 overall draft pick will become a free agent.
“The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix,” Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said in a statement. “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.”
After clearing waivers, Beasley will become a free agent after averaging a career-low 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds on 40.5 percent shooting in his lone season with Phoenix. He played two seasons each with Miami and Minnesota before signing a three-year deal with Phoenix worth $18 million in the summer of 2012.
The Suns’ recent trade of Caron Butler to Milwaukee created nearly $6 million in salary-cap space that they can use to soften the financial hit stemming from Beasley’s departure.
By waiting until after Sept. 1 to waive Beasley, Phoenix can pay out the $6 million owed to the 24-year-old forward in 2013-14 on the NBA’s standard pay schedule and then stretch the remaining $3 million guaranteed on Beasley’s deal in 2014-15 over multiple seasons.
After the subpar season that Beasley had in Phoenix, the question remains, who will take a chance on the small forward? Only time and money will tell.
For the Phoenix Suns, it marks another step in the rebuilding process from the previous regime to once again make the team relevant again.