Veteran forward Michael Beasley, who last played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2018-19 season before signing a contract to play in the Chinese Basketball Association, was reportedly slapped a five-game suspension earlier this week for a violation of the NBA’s anti-drug policy.
Beasley’s suspension was first reported on Twitter by The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, who did not offer any specifics aside from the number of games the 30-year-old forward would need to sit out. According to Bleacher Report, the NBA normally issues five-game suspensions to players who have tested positive for marijuana use.
While the reported suspension marks Beasley’s first “drug-related incident” since he was arrested in 2013 for marijuana possession, Bleacher Report noted that the former Lakers reserve was fined by the NBA in 2011 over similar allegations, though he claimed at the time that the marijuana belonged to a friend. Additionally, a 2009 report from ESPN stated that Beasley checked into a rehabilitation facility in Houston due to “stress-related issues.”
After signing a free-agent contract with the Lakers in the summer of 2018, Beasley averaged seven points and 2.3 rebounds while playing a career-low 10.7 minutes per game for the team. He was then shipped to the Los Angeles Clippers in February, right before the NBA’s trade deadline, but was waived before he could play a game for his new team. Per Yahoo Sports, he then signed with the CBA’s Guangdong Tigers for the remainder of the Chinese professional league’s 2019 season.
So far, Michael Beasley has played for a total of seven NBA teams since he was picked second overall by the Miami Heat in the 2008 NBA Draft. According to his Basketball-Reference player page, his best season came in 2010-11 when he averaged 19.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ starting small forward.
Although Beasley will have to sit out the first five games of the 2019-20 NBA season if he ends up signing with any of the league’s 30 teams, reports have also suggested that the former Kansas State forward is considering returning to China for a far more lucrative deal than the $2 million contract he signed with Guangdong earlier this year.
Citing a tweet from Stadium‘s Jeff Goodman, Yahoo Sports wrote that Beasley has been offered “approximately” $5 million to return to the CBA, though it wasn’t specified which team made the supposed offer. The publication noted that Beasley seems to have become a “valued commodity” in China, which has become a popular destination for former NBA players in recent years.