Michael Beasley Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade says Michael Beasley can be great, if….

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The question is not raw talent. Michael Beasley has plenty of that. You don’t get drafted No. 2 overall without signs of serious potential.

But Beasley has never come anywhere near that potential.

As the Miami Heat — the team that drafted Beasley — are about to take him and his new Timberwolves team on, the Palm Beach Post asked Dwyane Wade about Beasley and how good he could be. The answer is it’s up to Beasley.

“Michael is an unbelievable talent,” Wade said. “And he can erupt any game, any moment. The ability that he has to use both hands around the basket, finishing. His jumpshot. He has all the tools. With Michael, it’s just going to take him to continue to grow at the game, and get to a winning environment, and start understanding what his team needs from him. I mean, he’s a good player. He’s one of the best young talents that we have in the game. But he has the potential to be a great player. If he wants it. And that’s what we always told him in Miami. So we’ll see.”

What Wade is politely talking about is dedication to the game. That has never been questioned with Wade — he will do whatever it takes in the offseason to be ready for the season’s start. He takes care of his body, he studies tape, he is committed to the game and winning. Beasley, to be polite, lacks that.

Beasley is not terrible — he’s averaging 19.5 points per game — but he only scratches the surface of what could be. It’s not the physical tools, it’s the mental ones that are questioned, it’s his efficiency that is in doubt. He is shooting just 44 percent this young season. His PER has always hovered around the league average.

Beasley has physical skills well beyond just average. But there are more than financial reasons the Heat wanted to move him a couple years ago.

Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)

Gordon Hayward (20), del Jazz de Utah, intenta un enceste ante Thon Maker (7) y Michael Beasley (9), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, en el duelo del viernes 24 de febrero de 2017, en Milwaukee. (AP Foto/Benny Sieu)
AP Foto/Benny Sieu
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Are we obligated to call Gordon Hayward “deceptively athletic”?

The Bucks have something special in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they think they have something special in Thon Maker.

But Hayward jammed all over those two in the Jazz’s 109-95 win last night.

First, he got Antetokounmpo:

Then, he got Maker:

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.