After Michael Beasley had problems both on and off the court during a tumultuous first year with the Phoenix Suns, the team decided to further its fresh start under a new GM and new head coach by negotiating a buyout of his contract, which made Beasley an unrestricted free agent.
Despite his well-chronicled history of issues, talent conquers all at the professional level, so Beasley didn’t remain on the open market for long. He ended up with maybe the only team willing to take a chance on him at this point — the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
Beasley played his first two NBA seasons in Miami, so perhaps Pat Riley believes he knows how to reach him. Dwyane Wade was there during Beasley’s first go-around, and posted a photo and message to his Instagram account welcoming Beasley back with open arms.
“Sometimes u need to fall 2 see who will pick up.. Welcome home Beas we got your back… #heatfamily”
“Fall seven times, stand up eight,” anyone?
Beasley will not only need the support and guidance of Wade, LeBron James, and the rest of the veterans on the squad, he’ll need to show them a consistent level of effort, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to fit into what has become a championship culture.
There’s no reason to believe that Beasley will magically straighten himself out and suddenly make basketball his number one priority, because he has yet to show an ability (or even a simple willingness) to do so at any time in his career to this point.
A return to Miami isn’t just Beasley’s best chance at turning his career around; its likely to be his last.
Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:
Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game — but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.
In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.
Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.
That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.
If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.
First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.
Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.
Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.
Joakim Noah is playing 20.6 minutes a night coming off the bench for Fred Hoiberg and the Chicago Bulls this season.
And he doesn’t like it. He wants more run. He was getting 10 minutes more a night last season under Tom Thibodeau, and Noah wants some of those minutes back. Nick Friedel of ESPN sent out a tweet that was a reminder of just that.
Three thoughts here.
1) Reducing minutes for guys who battle injuries every season by the time the playoffs roll around was one huge reason Fred Hoiberg was brought in to coach the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau was shown the door. This isn’t just Hoiberg, the minutes reduction comes from management. While it is possible Noah’s spot in the rotation shifts (he could start at some point) and he might get a little more run, the Thibodeau era is gone.
2) There are legit reasons for Noah to want to play. First, he is a competitor who doesn’t like sitting. Second, the Bulls’ defense is elite when he plays (allowing 95.5 points per 100 possessions) and the Bulls outscore opponents by 1.3 per 100 when he plays. Finally, Noah is in the final year of his contract and scoring just 3.1 points per game is not going to help him earn more cash in the next deal.
3) Barring injury to another big, don’t expect a change.