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The Hoop Doctors

Is Beasley Playing His Last Game With The Heat?

April 27, 2010 – Allen Moll

All across the Association virtually everyone would agree that Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat front office(meaning Pat Riley) have been mighty patient with the development of the #2 overall selection in the ’08 NBA Draft, Michael Beasley. Even though the Heat managed to hang on for a pride saving victory in Game 4 of their playoff series against the favored Boston Celtics, odds are they won’t make it out of the first round, and the roster is destined for a detonation of massive proportions. When the dust clears, could Michael Beasley be on the outside looking in?

After playing like an absolute stud in the collegiate ranks in his lone season for the Kansas State Wildcats, where he averaged 26.2 ppg and 12.4 rebounds per game, one could argue that Beasley has disappointed with offensive production like 13.9 and 14.8 ppg in his first two seasons, even though he was named to the NBA All Rookie 1st Team last season. In fact, before the NBA Draft lottery determined which order teams would be selecting in the ’08 draft, a few teams even considered taking Beasley #1 over the eventual top selection, Derrick Rose of Memphis. But while Rose has enjoyed personal success(’09 Rookie of the Year and ’10 All Star Selection), that hasn’t been seen in Chicago since the legendary Michael Jordan’s early years.  Beasley has endured constant criticism over a lack of devotion to defense, a stint in rehab for substance abuse, and a steep learning curve when it comes to maturity.

As a prime example of his ineffectiveness, look no further than his rather mediocre performance in this year’s playoffs: 12.5 ppg, 6.5 rebs, and 0 blocks, which are not exactly the numbers one would expect as a former #2 pick and the heir apparent to play the role as Robin to D. Wade’s Batman. To be fair, Beasley is still only 21 year old, and some players have a steeper learning curve than others, but it appears that the Heat have been fed up with the 2nd year player’s lack of production for some time since they tried hard to deal him before the February trade deadline, but couldn’t get equal value in return.

But with free agency looming this Summer and the Heat frantically trying to free up as much cap space as possible to surround Wade with a better supporting cast in hopes of resigning their superstar, the Heat seem likely to accept less than equal value in exchange for Beasley. They would need to trade Beasley’s nearly $5 million contract for another player with only a partial guarantee for ’10-’11, to be able to sign 2 high profile free agents from a pool of players like Amare Stoudemire, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh. So as part of the master plan, the Heat not only want to bring back Wade prior to July 1st, but plan on surrounding the NBA’s hardest working superstar with not one, but two stud teammates.

So if the situation exists to make a deal prior to the draft, look for Pat Riley to do virtually anything to appease Dwyane Wade and keep “Flash” in South Beach.

Allen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania.  Allen is a regular columnist for thehoopdoctors.com, Bleacherreport.com, UpperDeckblog.com, and his own site, Hoops Haven.

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