According to USA Today, the Miami Heat have signed former No. 2 overall draft choice Michael Beasley. This will mark Beasley's second stint with the Heat after playing for the squad from 2008 to 2010.
After a tumultuous ride during his young NBA career, Beasley will turn things around with the Heat.
Beasley was waived by the Phoenix Suns on Sept. 3 after being arrested for suspicion of drug possession, per Paul Coro of AZCentral.com. This is a continuation of five years of legal troubles for Beasley, who has gone from a potential superstar to a risk for any team to trust.
The Heat confirmed the signing via Twitter:
OFFICIAL: The @MiamiHEAT have signed Michael Beasley.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 11, 2013
The question is, how will it pan out?
Per the previously alluded to USA TODAY Sports report, Beasley is being given the opportunity to play his way onto the team. Upon doing so, the mercurial star would be able to earn minutes by proving he's in game shape and capable of contributing.
With his future in the NBA becoming more uncertain with every passing day, expect Beasley to step up and translate his world-class ability into quality play.
Say what you will about Beasley's off-the-court issues, but there's no question that he has the ability to justify going No. 2 overall in the 2008 NBA draft. He's a 6'10" hybrid forward who can shoot the three-ball, attack off of the dribble and work out of the post.
Making that ability count for something is another topic, but he's only 24—the book hasn't been closed just yet.
Will Michael Beasley turn his career around in Miami?
Under the guidance of players such as Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the mercurial forward will have guiding forces in the locker room. That's something that he's been without during the past three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.
Even still, there have been flashes of brilliance—albeit rarely.
In 2010-11, Beasley averaged 19.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 36.6 percent from three-point range. In 2011-12, when Beasley's minutes were nothing short of inconsistent, he still managed to shoot 37.6 percent from three-point range.
Even if he doesn't reach his potential, there's always a place for a 6'10" player with the potential to be a high-quality shooter.
Working with LeBron, another physically-gifted player with a dynamic skill set, Beasley has the potential to come into his own on the court. He won't be tasked with a significant role in Miami and, when he plays, he'll have the support of three superstars and a Hall of Fame sharpshooter.
In turn, he'll have the rare opportunity to win.
Opportunity to Win
During Beasley's first stint with the Heat, he made two postseason appearances, averaging 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in 26.1 minutes per game. In that time, however, the Heat were a team led by D-Wade and not much else.
Now, Beasley will be playing on a team that will use him as a fifth option, at best.
That may be a deflating role for the average upside-ridden player, but Beasley has spent time in a similar position on non-postseason squads in three consecutive seasons. In 2013-14, he'll have the humbling privilege of playing behind some of the world's top players.
It's not ideal, but it will teach Beasley how to contribute to a winning culture. The value of that experience cannot be understated, nor can the fact that Beasley is still young enough to mold.
Still 24 years old, Beasley will use the support of Miami's organization to turn his career around. Rather than playing for a directionless organization with limited plans for his future, Beasley ended up with the two-time defending champions.
Sometimes, you have to hit a few dead ends to reach your ideal destination.