Michael Beasley Leaves NBA to Play in China
Former Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley has made his own decision: He is taking his talents to China.
According to his agent Jared Karnes, Beasley has signed a one year deal with the Chinese team Shanghai Sharks which is owned by former NBA superstar Yao Ming.
Beasley signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Memphis Grizzlies last month in an effort to make the team’s final NBA roster. Apparently, that didn’t work out, so Beasley left the Memphis camp and was waived by the Grizzlies before signing the deal with the Shanghai Sharks.
One of the Biggest busts
Although Beasley has a career scoring average of 13.2 points per game, he is considered one of the biggest busts in NBA Draft history. Selected 2nd overall by the Miami Heat in the 2008 NBA draft, Beasley was easily one of the best college freshmen in the last two decades. He averaged 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds in his only season at Kansas State and led the nation in double doubles. With his height, scoring ability and outside shooting, Beasley was projected to flourish as an NBA small forward.
Can’t find his home
But Beasley never found a home in the NBA.
After two seasons in Miami, Beasley was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a move to clear cap space and pave the way for the arrival of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010. The following season, Beasley signed an $18M contract with the Phoenix Suns. But after playing just a single season, he was waived by the Suns because of his off-court troubles. The Heat gave him another shot last season but he played sparingly and was not re-signed in the offseason. According to Heat President Pat Riley, the Heat “cleaned the table when L.J. (LeBron James) left.”
Beasley was also working out with the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers this summer prior to signing with the Grizzlies.
Still has upside
The move to China is not seen as the end of Michael Beasley’s NBA career. It could be that the Sharks were offering him a more financially secure deal. Beasley is only 25 years old and he has proven that he can be a big-time scorer in the NBA. Beasley struggled in defense but more than being a defensive liability, it was those off-court issues that made teams shy away from him.
But if he can redeem himself with a great season in China, the possibility of an NBA return is always there. Players like JR Smith of the Knicks and Aaron Brooks of the Bulls are two players who have made a successful return from the Chinese Basketball league to the NBA.
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