MIAMI — The Miami Heat gave away Michael Beasley three years ago for next to nothing. Now they have signed him for next to nothing.
The Heat inked the forward Wednesday to a one-year non-guaranteed contract worth the minimum of $1.27 million. His contract was bought out by the Phoenix Suns for $7 million in early August after he had been pulled over for a traffic violation and arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession. In May, police were investigating an alleged sexual assault at his Scottsdale, Ariz., home.
Beasley, the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft, played for the Heat for his first two seasons. But he was traded in the summer of 2010 to Minnesota for cash and two second-round picks when the Heat were trying to clear salary-cap room, a move that eventually helped them acquire LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
“Michael had the best years of his career with us,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. “We feel that he can help us.”
Beasley averaged 13.9 points for the Heat in 2009-09 and 14.8 in 2009-10. His best season actually was averaging 19.2 points for the Timberwolves in 2010-11.
Beasley, who has career averages of 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds, has had well-chronicled troubles. His recent arrest was his fourth related to marijuana since he entered the NBA. But he’ll obviously need to be on his best behavior with the Heat due to having a non-guaranteed deal.
Beasley provides the deepest team in the NBA with even more depth. His signing likely concludes offseason moves for a team that lost swingman Mike Miller as an amnesty victim but gained center Greg Oden in addition to Beasley. Oden, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, hasn’t played in an NBA game since December 2009 due to knee problems.
It remains to be seen how Beasley might fit in with the Heat. He could cut into minutes logged by forwards Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier. It also means that forward Rashard Lewis will have an even more difficult time finding time.
Beasley averaged 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds last season for the Suns before a buyout agreement was reached just one year after he was signed to a three-year, $18 million deal. Although it was the worst season of his career, he’s still just 24.