Miami Heat sign Michael Beasley to training camp contract

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Michael Beasley is back with the Miami Heat… at least for training camp.

The Miami Heat have signed Beasley to a training camp contract, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and confirmed by the team. The deal is for one year at the veteran minimum ($1 million for him) and this is not guaranteed. He can be cut.

“Michael had the best years of his career with us. We feel that he can help us,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a released statement.

This summer the Heat have now added Beasley and Greg Oden, the two biggest draft busts of the past decade. Remember it was the Heat who drafted Beasley No. 2 (just after Derrick Rose) and he was coached by Erik Spoelstra and was teammates with Dwyane Wade. Both signings are not a bad roll of the dice by Miami.

Beasley was waived by the Suns after another arrest for marijuana possession. Beasley has an ability to score the basketball and some things he does well that would fit nicely within the Heat system — he’s a strong corner three shooter (nearly 40 percent for his career) and his ability to put the ball on the floor and drive when a defender closes out too hard would be welcome.

But Beasley hasn’t made good decisions anywhere on his stops through the NBA — his game has regressed every year since he was in Miami (in terms of efficiency). He hasn’t played within the system anywhere, so we should’t expect it here. His biggest statistical success in points per game came in Minnesota, when a team that needed offense let him go off in isolation a lot. It didn’t work out well if you’re into winning games. Aside that Beasley has just not fit in systems, not played defense.

If you want to believe that will be different in Miami, go ahead. The Heat have only 13 players on their roster, so there is room. Just don’t bet the rent money on it working out.

The Heat didn’t, they made a small bet and that is not a bad play to see if things are different.

Quinn Cook signing two-year contract with Hawks

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The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.

Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.

A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.

This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.

Knicks sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis

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The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.

But New York didn’t stop there.

Knicks release:

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.

But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.

O.J. Mayo says abusing prescription painkillers triggered NBA ban

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Last year, O.J. Mayo was banned from the NBA for at least two years due to a drug violation. Aside from stating a plan to come back, Mayo didn’t say much publicly.

Until now.

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:

He acknowledged smoking marijuana and abusing a prescription pain medication that triggered his two-year ban because it is on the NBA’s “drugs of abuse” list. (He emphatically denied testing positive for hard drugs like cocaine.)

Mayo also concluded that he had been “overwhelmed” by a string of difficult life events: his father, high school basketball star Kenny Ziegler, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for distributing crack cocaine, his brother was placed in juvenile lock-up, a close friend went to jail, and another was killed. “I was bred to play basketball and I thought I could balance everything,” he said. “I couldn’t.”

That’s part of an interesting feature on Mayo, who’s training for his come back. Golliver’s story makes it easy to pull for Mayo.

But the guard will be 30 when he’s eligible to apply for reinstatement, and he played lousily in his last three seasons with the Bucks.

Hopefully, Mayo has and keeps his personal life in order. But returning to the NBA will be an uphill battle.

James Harden throws alley-oop to Chris Paul, pair puts on show at Houston charity event

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What chemistry problem?

There are legitimate questions about how Chris Paul and James Harden will share the backcourt and ball with the Rockets, but none of those were on display on Sunday. That’s when CP3 joined his new teammate in Harden’s charity game (raising money for Harden’s charity, which helps children from single-family homes get a higher education), a kind of pro-am with some names thrown in to draw a crowd.

Harden and CP3 put on a show for the fans.

This is a charity event, not every team is going to defend like this or the Phoenix Suns. It’s going to be harder when the games matter.

But the Rockets are going to be entertaining to watch this season. No doubt.