Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Michael Beasley's Roller Coaster Career; What's Next?

Michael Beasley has gone from the No. 2 overall pick to being released by the Phoenix Suns. (

Michael Beasley was working his way toward being a veteran in the NBA, already with five seasons under his belt and only 24 years old.

Yet in a day that veteran status is in question as the Phoenix Suns, Beasley's third team since being drafted by Miami, released the troubled forward Tuesday. Beasley was recently arrested on a charge of suspicion of marijuana, just another time when the drug has gotten him in trouble with the league.

Even without the drug charge, Beasley is dropping off as a player. Just two seasons removed from the best year of his career, where he averaged 19.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for Minnesota, last season those numbers dropped down to a career low 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

The question now is if a team will give him another chance? It's hard to imagine Beasley without a job in the league after five years, mainly because of the hype around him entering the league. This is also proof of how far he's fallen.

To be far, he hasn't been a Darko Milicic-type bust. Other former No. 2 overall picks have fallen harder and faster. Beasley has still put up very respectable numbers, so it's hard to call a player like him a bust.

But remember back to 2008 when Beasley was drafted. He was a national phenom at Kansas State and was expected to be an all-star in the NBA. Just look at the list of players he was drafted ahead of: O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Brook and Robin Lopez and Roy Hibbert are a few. It was Beasley and Derrick Rose at the top, and the conversation was who would have a better career.

The biggest disappointment with Beasley is his poor play and inability to stay with a team seems to be more a fault of his, both with the drug use and attitude, than outside factors. He hasn't suffered any major career-setback injuries that have taken out other top picks. He didn't have trouble adjusting to the game like a European transfer such as Milicic.

In fact, Beasley proved he could be a successful scorer in the league. His first three years were a steady rise into what looked to be a very good career. But Beasley hasn't been able to stay out of his own way, and his drop off in production from the 2010-11 season to last season makes it more difficult for teams to put up with the marijuana charges.

Beasley has had plenty of ups and downs already in his young NBA career. It's now time to see where the Michael Beasley roller coaster takes him next.

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