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.
The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.
Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.
Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.
His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.
He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka are healthy — just how good will the Thunder be?
The bold prediction in this PBT Extra preview with Jenna Corrado is that the Thunder will win 60 games, something they have not yet done. I wouldn’t bet on them hitting that number — with a new coach, and them making sure Durant and Westbrook get rest coming off injuries, plus the fact they’re in the deep West, that number may be high.
I think they have a better chance to come out of the West than win 60 games. I think they have a good shot to come out of the West.