I love reclamation projects. I love them in baseball (Francisco Liriano in Pittsburgh or James Loney in Tampa Bay), football (Brandon Lloyd in Denver or Wes Welker in New England), and especially in basketball.
What’s not to like about it? A player get a second chance to showcase what got them to the show. They’re given less pressure because they already flew under expectations; the post-hype player. It’s a story of build-up and the underdog. Michael Beasley is back in Miami. He’s a member of the team that drafted him second overall in 2008. This is a storyline that, albeit a minor one, will intrigue me for the entire season.
Here’s a player with ridiculous talent in college and flashed the same ability in his first two seasons in Miami. He averaged 14.35 points, 5.9 rebounds, 46.1 percent from the field, in just under 27 minutes per game. He was his most efficient in Miami and played inconsistent, but inspired, ball. Let’s not forget that Beasley, despite all the baggage and different teams (Miami, Minnesota, and Phoenix), is just 24 years old.
Here’s why this can be positive story:
1. It’s a return to the team where he was the most effective in his career.
3. He’ll be a part of a winning culture. 4. Beasley offered to sign a 1-year non-guaranteed contract.
The last point is very important. Beasley is still so young and yet offered to sign a contract that he knew no team could not refuse. It could be a two-part move for Beasley. A contract with no risk to the team he wanted to play for and a motivational tool to keep the guy focused on basketball (it is Miami, after all). There’s simply no risk for the Heat and their low depth. Whether or not this story has a happy ending is irrelevant. Beasley’s shown that he wants to change and that’s already the hardest step for growth.
The Heat are collecting reclamation projects (Chris Anderson, Greg Oden, and Michael Beasley) and may have got the biggest coup of them all with Beasley. He was the second overall pick for a reason. We might just see why this season.
Photo Credit: Ned Dishman / Getty Images
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