Michael Beasley Released By Phoenix Suns

Michael Beasley is no longer a member of the Phoenix Suns. The NBA waived him today under a so-called termination agreement that will give the Suns some cap relief over the next two seasons.

Beasley signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Phoenix Suns about a year ago, but the team reportedly soured on him as a result of both on the court and off the court activities. The forward will became a free agent after he officially clears waivers. According to AP, the termination agreement is saving the team $2 million over a straight waiver deal.

Beasley, 24, has had several run-ins with the law including an arrest for felony marijuana possession last month. In his one season with the Suns, he averaged 10 points per game on 40.5 percent from the field shooting, both of which were career lows.

In a statement about the Beasley contract termination that seemed to allude to the player’s issues, Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said that “The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix. However, it is essential that we demand the highest standards of personal and professional conduct as we develop a championship culture. Today’s action reflects our commitment to those standards. The timing and nature of this, and all of our transactions, are based on the judgment of our Basketball leadership as to how best to achieve our singular goal of rebuilding an elite team.”

GM Ryan McDonough expressed similar sentiments: “We have high standards for all of our players. We expect them to represent the team and the community in a positive manner both on and off the court.”

Beasley was the second overall pick by Miami in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Kansas State, where he was an All American and set various scoring records in his one year in the Big 12 Conference. The Heat traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010, and he subsequently signed a free agent contract with the Suns. CBS Sports notes, “Since those initial days of potential and promise, Beasley has spiraled downward in his NBA career.”

[Image credit: Keith Allison]