With every NBA offseason come changes to a team’s roster, and the Phoenix Suns are no different.
With Friday’s signing of Michael Beasley, the Suns have acquired three new players during 2012’s free agency period.
While point guard Goran Dragic will attempt to fill the shoes left behind by Steve Nash and Luis Scola’s place on the team reserved for the four and five position, Beasley’s role on the court is more of a question mark.
Through his four-year career in the NBA, Beasley has shown signs of being the player he was hyped up to be. His 19.2 points per game in the 2010-11 season was among the top 20 averages in the league, and his explosiveness on the court can leave defenders on their back.
But there are concerns about his off-the-court antics, a behavior Beasley is claiming to have left in the past as he settles into his new team. And provided there are no changes to the Suns’ current roster, there is a stable of forwards for Head Coach Alvin Gentry to choose from, meaning Beasley must have something unique to warrant his addition to Planet Orange.
That something is versatility.
“I think he gives us a lot of things that we can do on our basketball team,” Gentry said during Beasley’s introductory press conference Friday. “You can play him as a three-man and have an advantage as far as post-ups or you could play him as a four-man and have an advantage as far as going around guys on the floor.
“From a talent standpoint, I couldn’t be happier.”
Beasley’s 6-foot-10, 235-pound frame will certainly help with posting up, and his agility will aide in turning the corner against power forwards. But what the Suns need is a scorer, and while it seems Shannon Brown will be asked to fill that vacancy, Gentry feels Beasley can contribute as well.
“I think Beasley [can score],” said Gentry. “I think he can be a go-to facilitator where you give him the ball, he creates situations here he either makes the shot or makes the play that gets someone the shot.”
Already on his third team in five years, Beasley is ready to commit regardless of position, hoping that he can make the Valley of the Sun his home for longer than his separate two-year tenures with the Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I’m going to do whatever coach asks me to do,” said Beasley. “Just put me on the floor and I’ll adjust to whatever we’re doing offensively and defensively.
“Whether it’s me scoring the ball or somebody else, I’m going to do everything I need to do to help my team move forward.”