Suns, Beasley looking for fresh start together
Known for issues with marijuana, questionable effort and unfulfilled potential, the Suns' newest player is coming to town with a goal of turning around his career and becoming the player many expected him to be when he was taken 2nd overall in the 2008 NBA Draft.
"I'd like to thank the organization for believing in me and giving me another chance," Beasley said at his introductory press conference Friday. "A better opportunity to grow as a person and a player."
As GM Lance Blanks said, this move provides a fresh start for Beasley, but the Suns as well.
Because along with question marks, the 6-foot-10, 235- pound forward brings with him a diverse offensive game and something to prove.
So the Suns, in need of scoring, viewed the 23-year-old as the perfect place to start in free agency.
"Michael was the very first person that we visited at the earliest possible moment in Los Angeles to begin our free agency process," Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said. "He was a high-priority for us and we are thrilled and delighted that he is going to be part of our new beginning in Phoenix as we move forward."
For Beasley, moving forward means leaving that checkered past behind him.
He's trying to do that by taking full responsibility for the mistakes he's made -- including the drugs -- which is something that impressed the organization.
"I realized 10 minutes of feeling good is not really worth putting my life and my career and my legacy in jeopardy, so I'm confident to say that part of my career, that part of my life is over and won't be coming back."
That would be great news for the Suns, who are hoping they've found a star at a bargain basement price. They may have done just that, but most agree it will all depend on the player himself.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry is confident drive will not be an issue, and is excited about the flexibility Beasley will give him.
"He wants to be a great basketball player, he wants to be a complete basketball player, not just known for his scoring, but for his defense and his rebounding," he said. "I just think the talent that he has and the versatility that he has, he immediately makes your team a better team."
At the end of the day, that's what this is all about. The Suns are coming off back-to-back lottery seasons, and having lost stalwarts Steve Nash and Grant Hill, will have a completely different look next season. Beasley will be a part of that, and in a way represents the uncertainty that is the team's future.
Which is why, for all the risk a player like Beasley may represent, the potential reward is something the Suns just couldn't pass up.
"We need talented basketball players, and you can argue all you want, but this is one of the most talented players in this league right now," Blanks said.
Arizona Sports' Craig Grialou contributed to this report
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