Tag: Michael Beasley

LeBron James Football

Thursday And-1 links: LeBron took his kids to Browns practices to see Johnny Manziel


Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points more than TMZ loves Jay Z/Beyonce marital trouble….

• The only thing anywhere near as hot as LeBron James in Cleveland is Johnny Manziel. And the future savior of the Browns (*cough*) is still a distant second. But the stars almost collided on Thursday when LeBron took his boys to see the Browns practice as they get ready for their first preseason game this weekend. LeBron talked with Browns coach Mike Pettine as well as with Manziel (who is represented by LeBron’s marketing firm).

“He just asked how camp was going,” Pettine said. “You could tell that he’s into it and loves football, a big Browns fan. He said he’ll be at the games when it’s warm and when it’s cold he’ll be watching in his basement.”

There are some things Miami can always offer that Cleveland can’t, not needing to bundle up for a game is one of them.

• LeBron’s old running mates in Miami, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade now have something else in common — their own lines of ties.

• Sixers GM Sam Hinkie is still trying to find a way into and to get some value out of the Kevin Love trade, and he’s ticked that the Thaddeus Young rumors leaked.

• Dirk Nowitzki the movie? Fortunately it’s a documentary about the star, which is set to debut in Germany in September.

• Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins — of course it’s him — with the best big of writing anywhere on Paul George and his injury.

Power ranking the best/worst uniforms in the NBA over at CSNWashington.com.

• After watching the Spurs knock them out of the playoffs, Thunder coach Scott Brooks wants his team to increase its assists and move the ball better next season. I bet 2/3 of the coaches in the league say that, and I doubt many have any success. We’ll see if Brooks is the exception.

• One league executive told the Philadelphia Daily News that the Sixers have a “negative effect on the integrity of the NBA.”

• Brook Lopez says he is fully cleared for basketball activities. Which should make the good people of Brooklyn happy. Well, relatively.

• One final bit out of my time with Team USA in Las Vegas, it is Mike Krzyzewski talking about Kyrie Irving: “He’s not been accustomed to playing with guys who are rim runners, and with the shooters. In some respects you create a little tunnel vision of him as a scorer, in this camp he reacquaints himself with lobs, with drive-and-kick, with things he hasn’t been asked to do as much in the past couple years.”

• Kemba Walker is pumped to have someone else who can create their own offense off the bounce in Charlotte. As he should be.

• Michael Beasley went to Los Angeles for some workouts in front of teams last week. While there he rented a car — a Porsche none the less — but he didn’t bother to return it so the rental company had to come and tow it away. And you wonder why teams are lining up to take his talent.

• RIP to Dale Schlueter, an original member of the Portland Trail Blazers from their inaugural season (1970-71), who died of cancer last week at the age of 68.

• Watch the Bucks’ John Henson eat his way through the Wisconsin State Fair. For the record, this is not exactly doctor recommended healthy eating.

• Much to the joy of the Orlando brass, Maurice Harkless will not play for Puerto Rico in the FIBA World Cup this summer.

• Hawks’ second round pick Edy Tavares is expected to play next season in Spain.

• Byron Mullens will play in China next season.

• Finally, Minnesota’s Zach LaVine with the selfie dunk video.

Report: Heat to sign undrafted Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson

The Heat are already learning the perils of life without LeBron James.

Sure, they’ll miss LeBron’s production when the season begins. You don’t easily replace an all-time great player in his prime.

But LeBron also has an ability to attract high-profile teammates, even for small roles.

Former All-Stars Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Juwan Howard, Jamaal Magloire and Jerry Stackhouse and former top-10 picks Greg Oden, Michael Beasley, Eddy Curry and Erick Dampier passed through Miami in the last four years. The Heat might not have gotten those talented players in their primes, but they got talented players.

Now, Miami is signing Shawn Williams and James Ennis, guaranteeing the contract of Justin Hamilton and adding undrafted free agents.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Undrafted rookie Tyler Johnson has reached an agreement on a free agent contract with the Miami Heat, a league source told RealGM.

Johnson, 21, had significant overseas offers, too, deciding to go with the Heat’s deal with an opportunity to make the regular season roster.

These are the type of players who sit on the end of the bench for nearly every team in the league. Even with LeBron, Miami had plenty of low-profile reserves.

It’s not even certain Johnson, who played at Fresno State, received any guaranteed money and will make the roster. He could be gone during training camp.

But the Heat are relying more on these marginal talents that previously. There’s more pressure to unearth gems and find rotation players where nobody else is looking.

Maybe Johnson can become one of those players, but his résumé is much thinner the ones Pat Riley is accustomed to seeing.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Shawn Marion and Ray Allen are considering signing up and Mike Miller already has.

Heat sign Shawne Williams

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

Shawne Williams has experience with recently great teams that have fallen on hard times.

He played for the Lakers last season.

Heck, he even began the season as their starting power forward, signaling tough times ahead in Los Angeles.

Thankfully for the Heat, even with LeBron James gone, they won’t have to rely on Williams nearly as much.

Heat team release:

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Shawne Williams.

Williams had a bounce-back year with the Lakers last season after a rough stint with the Nets in 2011-12 and falling out of the league in 2012-13. He defends fine, and he defensively rebounded better than ever. Still, he shot just 38 percent from the field and 33 percent on 3-pointers.

Maybe Williams can scrap for minutes behind Luol Deng at small forward. A broken-down Danny Granger is in that mix, but he might be needed more behind Dwyane Wade. Rookie James Ennis is the other primary contender for minutes at three. Of course, Erik Spoelstra could go all Tom Thibodeau and play Deng 48 minutes every game.

At one point, Pat Riley said re-signing Michael Beasley remained possible, according to Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. Now, it seems Williams will fill the Beasley role.

Report: Lakers work out Michael Beasley

Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat

Somebody is going to give Michael Beasley another chance.

Miami tried last season but by the second half of the year Erik Spolestra had given up on the experiment and buried him on the bench. LeBron James was frustrated with Beasley’s focus, the latest in a long line of off-the-court distractions and issues for Beasley. The former No. 2 pick can get you a few points (and he was more efficient than you would think last season) but every other part of his game had Minnesota then Phoenix then Miami throwing in the towel on him.

Now the Lakers are considering bringing him in, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

The Lakers had some interest in him last season.

My reaction? You can’t see it but right now I’m shrugging my shoulders.

He’s certainly not the answer in Los Angeles — and he doesn’t bring the defense they need — but there could be worse guys to bring in on a minimum deal (probably non-guaranteed). Beasley doesn’t really move the needle for the Lakers in any direction.

Report: Several teams interested in free agent Michael Beasley

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three

When we last saw Michael Beasley, he was getting shots up in garbage time of Game 5 of the NBA Finals — the clincher for the Spurs, and likely Beasley’s final game as a member of the Miami Heat.

Beasley was signed by Miami as a bit of a Hail Mary, on a minimum salary deal after he was waived by the Suns and when, frankly, no one else was interested. Beasley came into the league with the Heat, and played with Dwyane Wade and under Erik Spoelstra when he started, so the team believed they could tap into the talent and potential that to this point has been largely all but lost.

But the experiment ultimately failed. While Beasley appeared in 55 regular season games, he was unable to produce as a regular part of the rotation, and averaged career lows across the board in every meaningful statistical category. He played even less in the postseason, and one would think that if he had anything to contribute, the Heat would have welcomed it, especially in the Finals when they were completely overmatched.

Teams will always seek out reclamation projects on the cheap, however, and one report states that more than one of them may be looking at Beasley as a roster addition for next season.

From Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:

Several teams have expressed interest in free agent Michael Beasley. Teams like the efficiency and maturity he showed last season in Miami.

Michael Beasley is currently training in LA with Kevin Durant. Lakers could make sense for Beasley. He’d be a good fit to fill out roster.

Next time I see Alex, I’ll smack him for attempting to curse the Lakers in this way.

But again, on a minimum salary deal, there are teams that will take a long hard look at Beasley next season. They’ll need to have a strong system in place with veteran players that have control of the locker room in order for him to have a chance to succeed, but in the right situation, a team will convince itself that they can be the ones to unlock all that potential, and get him to focus for an entire NBA season.