Not a lot of people noticed — if you didn’t watch a lot of Knicks games after Kristaps Porzingis went down, nobody can blame you — but Michael Beasley had a strong season for the Knicks, primarily off the bench. He averaged 13.2 points per game, shooting 50.7 percent overall and 39.5 percent from three. He’s become a decent passer, one who at least keeps the ball moving in the offense. This was not “Beasley the unrepentant gunner” of years gone by. He’s still a horrific defender, but he looked like an NBA rotation player a lot of teams could use.
That’s a good thing heading into free agency, as Beasley happens to be. The Knicks have interest in bringing him back, but they are not alone in wanting him according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
According to an NBA source, the Hawks and Suns have interest in Beasley and both clubs have cap space. Beasley has a home in Atlanta and is said to be intrigued. The Suns are looking for bench scoring and a veteran to help their young core.
Of course, the question is money.
Beasley played for the veteran minimum last season ($2.3 million) and is due a raise this go around, but in what will be a tight market it is not going to be an eight-digit salary either. A few teams (the Knicks included) would need to use some of their mid-level exception to land him, while others have some cap space, but it’s hard to envision him making more than $7-$8 million (and likely less than that).
He’s not likely an early signing, but come mid to late July he will land somewhere, and next fall will help that team get some buckets.