NBA trade season is over, leaving teams that need to add a player due to injury or have an open roster spot to search the open market. One name being thrown around is former first round selection Michael Beasley, who just finished his season in China.
Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft, has drawn interest from several clubs.
A clutch of NBA teams, I'm told, are tracking Michael Beasley as he nears a return from China. Last seen in the... https://t.co/CcyR1hnVnn— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2016
Stein also said that Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv was interested in Beasley.
ESPN sources say perennial Euro power Maccabi Tel Aviv tried to sign Michael Beasley but was told Beas is NBA-bound once China's season ends— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 24, 2016
Beasley had a fabulous season putting up gaudy numbers for the Shangdong Golden Stars and leading them to the playoffs for the first time in a while. The 27-year-old averaged 31.7 points and 13.2 rebounds to go along with 3.8 assists while shooting 36.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Beasley was also named the Chinese Basketball Association All-Star Game MVP for the second consecutive season, breaking the game’s scoring mark for the second time. Beasley dropped 63 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, and doled out 13 dimes – he broke his own record of 59 points that was set in 2015.
While Beasley’s numbers are nice and show the kind of talent the six-foot-10 forward has, it is also noteworthy that the CBA doesn’t possess the greatest talent despite the fact that several former NBA players play over there.
Beasley has always been able to score and is a good ball-handler, but his biggest problem is his shot selection, defense, rebounding, attitude, and off-court issues.
Beasley averaged double-figures in his first four seasons in the NBA, with his best season occurring in 2010-11 when he averaged 19.2 points along with 2.2 assists in 32.3 minutes of action with Minnesota. The seven-year pro’s last stint in the NBA was in 2015. He appeared in 24 games with the Miami Heat after returning from China, averaging 8.8 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 23.5 percent from the three-point line. For his career, Beasley averages 13.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 433 career games.
None of the teams that are supposedly interested in Beasley have been identified, however, the Heat are likely to be one of them, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
In wake of ESPN report, it does not appear Heat among the teams pursuing Michael Beasley at the moment.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) February 23, 2016
Beasley isn’t the only other former NBA player who played in China to likely garner interest. Other players that could draw interest include Bobby Brown, Jabari Brown, Dwight Buycks, Jordan Crawford, Jamaal Franklin, Jason Maxiell, AJ Price, Jeremy Tyler, Dorrell Wright, Will Bynum, Bryce Cotton, Justin Dentmon, and Hamed Haddadi.
Buycks is reportedly going to play for OKC Blue of D-League. Bobby Brown and Jordan Crawford have been big-time scorers in China. Wright, Bynum, and Maxiell have tons of NBA experience while Jabari Brown, Tyler, and Cotton are still relatively young with upside. Hadadi is a big-body, although he is among the least likely players mentioned to return to the NBA.
Hickson has signed with the Washington Wizards for the pro-rated veteran minimum salary, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. Hickson is expected to in uniform when the Wizards head to Philadelphia on Thursday. The 27-year-old, six-foot-nine power forward averaged 6.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 20 games for Denver before being bought out by the team.
Washington had an open roster spot after trading Blair and Kris Humphries to the Phoenix Suns for much-maligned power forward Markieff Morris. The Wizards have won three-of-four to improve to 26-29 after defeating the New Orleans Pelicans (109-89) on Tuesday as John Wall posted his second triple-double of the season. Washington is in 10th place in the Eastern Conference but sits just three games behind the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets for the final two playoff spots.
[Photo by Matt Slocum/AP]