Free agent forward Michael Beasley has agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal with the Phoenix Suns, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because deals can’t be announced until July 11. Beasley, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft out of Kansas State, averaged 15.1 points per game in his four NBA seasons, two with Miami and the past two with Minnesota.
His best season was 2010-2011, when he averaged 19.2 points with the Timberwolves.
It has been a busy 24 hours for the Suns, who agreed to an offer sheet with restricted free agent guard Eric Gordon on Tuesday, then agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that sends Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. The New Orleans Hornets have said they will match any offer for Gordon, though.
The agreement with Beasley came Wednesday night, hours after he visited the Suns’ headquarters.
The Timberwolves declined the $8 million option to keep Beasley on the team.
Despite his obvious talents, his problems off the court have followed him. Around 3 a.m. one night last June, he was ticketed for possessing marijuana and speeding in the Minneapolis suburb of Minnetonka. While playing for the Heat, Beasley has acknowledged, he twice violated the NBA’s drug policy and entered a treatment facility for a time in 2009.
Beasley had vowed to work hard in the offseason to improve his overall game, with former NBA player Norm Nixon as something of a mentor.
At 6-foot-9, Beasley fits the Suns’ need for more athleticism and might have been the most purely talented player on the Timberwolves’ roster.
Beasley was bothered by injuries both his seasons with Minnesota.
”Both years, and I told Michael this a couple times recently, it is a shame that he got hurt,” Minnesota general manager David Kahn said. ”His offensive game wasn’t there at the start, but I at least thought he was trying defensively and just applying himself with more rigor than he had the year before with the previous staff, and I was at least hopeful that maybe there is something here. And he got hurt again, and again.”
Kahn also praised the way Beasley went along with going from a starter to reserve.