5 Michael Beasley Trades to Erase Phoenix Suns' Mistake
When the Suns signed Beasley to a three-year, $18 million deal in the offseason, they had high expectations. Some were skeptical of the signing while others held more optimistic views. Some people even predicted Beasley would return to his old self and score 20 points a game.
Before the season started, even those who disagreed with the signing never expected Beasley to be this bad.
Right now, Beasley is averaging 9.6 points and 3.5 rebounds a game while shooting 37 percent from the floor.
It took awhile, but eventually the Suns decided to bench Beasley for his poor play. He hasn't received more than 10 minutes of playing time since December 28th and sometimes doesn't appear on the court at all.
Beasley has completely fallen out of coach Alvin Gentry's rotation.
Since Beasley is doing little other than sitting on the bench these days, the Suns might pursue a trade before the deadline in February.
It might be hard to find another team that is actually interested in him, but you never know what can happen. A major injury can occur, or a team might want extra bench depth to help with a playoff push.
Maybe some teams still believe that Beasley has potential.
Whatever the case, don't expect the Suns to get a lot of talent in return. Cap flexibility would be nice though, and the team may want some expiring contracts in return for a trade. Draft picks would be even nicer, but that might be overrating Beasley's trade value.
In other words, the Suns won't find a team willing to give up lottery picks for Beasley.
Now that your expectations have been lowered, here are five realistic Michael Beasley trades that the Suns should explore.
Note: All stats and figures in this article are accurate as of 1/8/13.
Beasley to Cleveland
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Phoenix gets Omri Casspi
Cleveland gets Michael Beasley
The Cavs get rid of Casspi, who played just one minute in 13 games between December 11 and January 5. In return, they get Beasley, who still has a relatively cheap contract and might have some potential left in him after all.
As long as Beasley can start playing like someone who isn't a complete liability, this trade could be worth it for the Cavs.
As for the Suns, they swap Beasley for the 24-year-old Israeli small forward. Casspi had a pretty good rookie season for the Sacramento Kings, where he posted averages of 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds a game, but since then he has regressed.
Even so, Casspi is a good sharpshooter who has shot 36 percent from behind the arc for his career. He doesn't play much defense either, so he'll fit right in. Best of all, he's an expiring contract, which means the Suns can get rid of him at the end of the year.
Casspi may not generate the same effects that Jeremy Lin did in New York, but he could attract some additional revenue.
Beasley to the Lakers
Harry How/Getty Images
Suns get Steve Blake and Devin Ebanks
Lakers get Michael Beasley
No, he's not Steve Nash, but the Suns would get a different point guard named Steve from the Los Angeles Lakers by trading Beasley for Steve Blake and Devin Ebanks.
The Lakers appeared to have some interest in Beasley last season at the deadline (according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com), and if the Suns are lucky L.A. would still be willing to take him.
The downside for the Suns is that Blake is on a two-year contract, so he can't be dumped. He likely wouldn't get any playing time anyway with Goran Dragic, Sebastian Telfair and Kendall Marshall all competing for minutes, but the Suns would still need to pay him $4 million next year.
Ebanks is a young prospect, but he's never received a lot of playing time with the Lakers and probably wouldn't be of much use to Phoenix either. Luckily, his contract expires at the end of the season, and he could be dropped.
Other than just getting rid of Beasley, the Suns do receive a subtle benefit from this trade. Even if they keep Blake, the Suns would save approximately $1.75 million in cap space for next season, which can always make a difference in signing free agents.
If you're optimistic, you might look at that figure and see the Suns signing two more players like P.J. Tucker.
If you're pessimistic, you can see that figure and think about the Suns signing someone with less than one-third the value of Michael Beasley.
It all depends on how you see it, I suppose.
Beasley to Atlanta
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Phoenix gets Anthony Morrow and Johan Petro
Atlanta gets Michael Beasley and Kendall Marshall
I've proposed this trade before, and although it seems unlikely that the Atlanta Hawks would want Beasley, it's at least worth a shot to call and see if they're interested.
Right now, the Hawks have an impressive 20-13 record despite having traded Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets in the offseason. They have Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson and Anthony Morrow playing small forward. When they make a playoff run, they could definitely use some extra bench depth.
For the Suns, this trade is all about saving some extra cap space. Both Anthony Morrow and Johan Petro are expiring contracts, and the Suns could completely erase any trace of Michael Beasley ever being on this team by making this trade.
The Suns would also trade Kendall Marshall to the Hawks in hopes of them accepting the trade. Marshall hasn't really seen any playing time this season, which makes him expendable.
Really, all the Suns need to do is convince Atlanta that Michael Beasley isn't a complete waste of space. After all, Morrow is playing 13 minutes a game this year, and Petro has played seven games all season.
Those two haven't been essential to Atlanta's success.
This trade is nothing more than an attempt to save money. It's unlikely, but if Beasley has a decent stint of games and Atlanta does express interest in adding depth at small forward, there's a chance of a deal like this happening at the deadline.
Beasley to Chicago
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Suns get: Richard Hamilton and Vladimir Radmanovic
Bulls get: Michael Beasley, 2013 second-round pick (DEN) and 2015 second-round pick (PHX)
This is a really odd trade, and the only way this deal could work would be if both teams get really desperate.
Suns fans do want to get rid of Beasley, and the Suns have shown interest in Rip Hamilton, but take a closer look for a second.
Hamilton is a 34-year-old, injury-prone shooting guard who played just 28 games last season. He's a veteran and can be a good scorer and shooter, but the Suns would be stuck with him for at least one more year. He definitely wouldn't drastically improve the team or save the Suns any money.
On the flip side, Chicago Bulls fans really want to ditch Hamilton.
But Michael Beasley?
Truthfully, with the way Beasley has been playing recently, the Bulls might just be better off with Hamilton on the sideline than they would be with Beasley on the court. Chicago does rank 26th in scoring, so Beasley might potentially help them there; however, it's just impossible to tell if he will ever improve his game or if he will continue to play so poorly throughout the entire season.
The Suns might want to engage in preliminary talks with Chicago about Hamilton, but in the end this is just one of those pointless trades that doesn't really help either side.
It almost definitely won't happen.
Beasley to Detroit
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Phoenix gets Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye
Detroit gets Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson and Kendall Marshall
As the saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." That very well may be the case in this trade. Both sides would give up seemingly worthless players who might benefit from a change of scenery.
For the Suns, this trade is a bit of a risk.
Rodney Stuckey looked like a promising young player a few years ago, but right now he's averaging 12.2 points and 4.4 assists a game while shooting 39 percent from the field. To make things worse, he still has one remaining season on his contract at $8.5 million.
Stuckey definitely isn't the go-to scorer that Phoenix needs, but he isn't a bad player. He could at least provide solid minutes off the bench and possibly even be a starter. Until this year, Stuckey seems to have strung together some successful seasons, and the Suns might want to evaluate his potential before committing to him.
Although he has only played 15 games this season, his 6'11" frame and ability to space the floor as a career 36 percent shooter from behind the arc could be useful. In fact, Daye has shot 15-of-25 from three-point land so far this season, which is fantastic even with the small sample size.
He is also in the last year of his contract as well, so he can be dumped at the end of the season if necessary.
For the Pistons, this trade is about getting rid of Stuckey and clearing cap space. The Pistons dump Stuckey's contract and in return get three young players.
Johnson is an expiring contract who can be dumped, Beasley might still be able to help the team score and develop in the future, and Marshall has the potential to develop into a backup point guard at the very least.
Trading for a guy like Hamilton or Stuckey would be risky, but it would be very hard to find a team willing to take Beasley without trading some unwanted player of its own. Suns fans should be mindful of that and realize that the team could trade Beasley only to end up with a new player just as bad.
The Suns may look like an awful team right now, but making rash decisions such as trading Beasley for other disappointing players isn't necessarily the answer.
At this time, it's important to preach patience. Unless the Suns field some great offers for Beasley, perhaps it's best to keep him for the remainder of the season or at least give him another chance to prove himself.