Why is everyone so down on Michael Beasley?

Henry Abbott of TrueHoop poses one of the more puzzling questions that has been troubling me for some time.

How did one of the NBA’s more respected franchises, one with some strong characters like Pat Riley and Alonzo Mourning on the case, give up on an affordable player with insane potential?

Remember that enormous mess his life became last summer? With the rehab and all that?

They got to know him for two years and, after shopping around for months and months and finding no takers, ditched him for almost nothing.

This in a league where players with far less going for them than Beasley get paid for their potential all the time.

That’s not good.

And it’s not like his play as been abysmal. His PER last season was in the top 100 of all players, above average in the 16s, one notch ahead of Luol Deng who has what was until this month the biggest contract in Chicago Bulls’ history. Also trailing Beasley in regular season production last season: respected players like Aaron Brooks, Lamar Odom, Anderson Varejao, Jameer Nelson, Kyle Lowry, and Ray Allen. Nobody thinks Beasley has even scratched the surface of his NBA potential, but even at last year’s level he’s a bargain for a guy still on his rookie contract.

There’s a story in there somewhere. But from what has been made public, it makes no sense at all that the Heat would have to give him away.

While most of the focus this season will be about his old team, I’m really interested to what Beasley does with a fresh start in Minnesota. On his databasebasketball page, two players that are listed with high similarity scores are Brook Lopez and Kevin Love, so Beasley is obviously a talented guy. He’s just 21 years old and in two seasons has averaged 14 points and six boards while shooting 46% from the field.

Something strange happened in Miami and hopefully one day we’ll find out exactly what it was.

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