Midway thru his 5th NBA season, Michael Beasley’s career has been a disappointment so far. Beasley hasn’t developed into a franchise building block for Suns while previously flaming out with the Wolves, and Heat. Year 1 in Phoenix hasn’t gone well as Beasley is averaging just 10.8 PPG while starting only 20 of 47 games played this year. Shooting 40.3% from the floor and 33% from downtown isn’t going to lead to more playing time. His offensive win share so far this season is at -1.5. The Player Efficiency Rating so far this campaign is at 11.6, while the league average is 15. The biggest knock on his game is that in each season of his NBA career Beasley has more turnovers than assists. Thru his first 5 seasons Kevin Durant also had more turnovers than assists each season. Beasley and Durant are childhood friends that coming out of college were viewed to be similar type players. Their NBA careers are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Beasley’s career Win Share is at 9.3 while Durant checks in at 62.8.
Beasley’s game hasn’t rounded out to help in other areas. He doesn’t defend, rebound, or get other players involved in the offense. Beasley’s scoring doesn’t come from within the confines of the team’s offense. Chucking up a bunch of shots will eventually buildup into points. His statistics are empty and don’t translate to winning basketball. The losses shouldn’t completely lie at Beasley’s feet, but he certainly hasn’t helped matters. A career offensive win share of 0.8 for a scorer speaks volumes.
The Suns are in last place in the Pacific Division at 17-34 and 19th in the NBA in scoring at just 95.4 points per game. The Suns are 22nd in the NBA giving up 100.2 points per game. Fewer fans are watching in Phoenix as well as they’re 25th out of 30 in attendance. Head coach Alvin Gentry was put out of his misery and Lindsey Hunter has taken over. In the 10 games since Hunter took over, Beasley has averaged 16.1 PPG shot 47.2 % from the floor and averaged 25.3 MPG.
The fact of the matter is this; Phoenix should be playing for more ping-pong balls this summer. It’s crystal clear there’s a lack of talent on this current Suns roster. The locker room may also be one of the messiest in the Association. This current construction of the Suns roster may not be together after the trade deadline and certainly not next season. Whatever problems exist in the locker room is irrelevant at this point as the team should be in sell/tank/develop mode.
Marcin Gortat has no interest in signing an extension. Luis Scola is a serviceable player that could round out a contender’s bench. Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown maybe could help out on a contender’s bench. Jermaine O’Neal has nothing left in the tank and just serves as a vocal presence. Goran Dragic is the closest thing they have to a building block. Markieff Morris is a talented project that has a long long way to go. The long term prospects of Kendall Marshall, P.J. Tucker, Luke Zeller, Wesley Johnson, and Diante Garrett remain to be seen. Beasley is under contract thru the 2014-15, however the last year isn’t fully guaranteed. Since Beasley will be with the club for the near future, why not give him an extended run. There are 2 good things that can happen if Beasley plays more minutes. The Suns will get to fully see if Beasley will ever develop into a building block. The Suns may lose more games increasing their ping-pong ball total in the hopper.
Fantasy owners should monitor this situation closely as more minutes leads to more potential for opportunity. Beasley did average 19.2 PPG for the Wolves in 2010-11 while playing a career high 32.3 MPG. That Wolves team did also finish 17-65. Keep in mind the NBA team’s records don’t matter for fantasy owners. Whether the production is empty by NBA standards also doesn’t matter. Points are points no matter how you slice it in the fantasy game.