New Phoenix Sun Michael Beasley averaged more than 15 points per game just once in his four-year career, scoring 19.2 per night for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010-11.
Seemingly poised to finally make good on the potential that convinced the Miami Heat to select him with the second overall pick in the 2008 Draft, the 6-foot-10 forward's career took a turn the very next season, as he averaged just 11.5 points per night in 23.1 minutes off the bench.
Looking for a fresh start, Beasley signed with a Suns team that is looking for a go-to scorer.
"There's going to be many things that we give him and ask him to do," Suns coach Alvin Gentry told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Wednesday. "One of the things that I also talked to him about is the old saying about to whom much is given, much is expected."
The Suns are expecting Beasley to be something he has not yet been as a professional: the man.
"This is going to be the first time in his career as an NBA player that a lot is expected of him and asked to do," Gentry said. "Basically, without saying it, I basically said 'you have to be the man on this team.'"
The coach said the 23-year-old's progression into that role is a process that will take time, but says he believes Beasley is talented enough to get the job done.
"The one thing I think with him that I think we will continue to strive and get out of him is the consistency," he added. "I think consistency is going to be the key for him, and that's rebounding, that's scoring and that's defense."
Beasley averaged 12.7 points while taking 11.6 shots per game in the preseason, while also pulling down 3.7 rebounds per night. Those are not exactly numbers 'the man' would put up, but Gentry reiterated that while he is confident his player will reach that status, it will take some time.
"I just think it's a matter of us being patient and understanding that this is not going to be something that happens overnight," he said. "That this is a process that we have to continue to work with him and get him to that level."