Michael Beasley has become something of a media-constructed anomaly. He’s gone from sure-fire NBA prospect, to immature troublemaker, to too small to be a star NBA forward, to too risky to draft because he once wore pajamas to the school cafeteria. Some have said he’s an immature jerk; others that he’s Kevin Durant with better rebounding skills. But there is one thing that is undeniable: he’s a talented player with the potential to change the recent fortunes of the Miami Heat from utter craptitude to NBA powerhouse for the next 12-15 seasons.
The reported vibe out of the Heat draft war room is that Pat Riley is lukewarm about taking Beasley with the second overall pick. Some reports have the Heat exploring two-for-one options such as swapping Beasley for another team’s draft-slot and a handful of veterans. And it’s no secret that Riley covets Memphis point guard Derrick Rose, who many expect to go first overall to the Chicago Bulls.
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But Beasley’s stellar talent and range is undeniable. He is arguably the best player in this draft, and he would give the Heat a much-needed big man with sick range (26.5 points per game) and killer vert (13 rebounds per game). Yes, Rose draws comparisons to Chris Paul and Deron Williams, and rightly so. But Beasley can just as easily be compared to Carlos Boozer, Pau Gasol or Chris Bosh (whom Riley wanted in 2003 before having to “settle” for Dwyane Wade). And who wouldn’t want to see one of those guys playing alongside D-Wade for the next decade?
So the choice will apparently come down to two things: Beasley’s talent over Beasley’s penchant for acting like a goofy 19-year-old who once put a rat in his teacher’s desk drawer. Two factors to consider: the fact that he’s an amazing talent and the fact that, for all his sophomoric tomfoolery, he has never been arrested or been in trouble with the law. If the Heat pass on Beasley, it better be because they jumped into a Delorean, fired up the flux-capacitor, traveled into the future and found out he’s the next big bust. Otherwise, there really is no reason to pass on the guy.
- Chris Joseph