By Eric Pincus
1:27 PM PDT, September 3, 2013
The Phoenix Suns have waived Michael Beasley, buying the 24-year old forward out of his contract.
During the 2011-12 season, the Lakers made efforts to trade for Beasley while he was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Instead, the Lakers picked up Jordan Hill in a deal with the Houston Rockets. Beasley signed with Phoenix as a free agent during the summer of 2012.
In his season with the Suns, Beasley averaged 10.1 points on 40.5% shooting from the field along with 3.8 rebounds per game.
Beasley was arrested in August on suspicion of marijuana possession.
“The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “However, it is essential that we demand the highest standards of personal and professional conduct as we develop a championship culture. Today’s action reflects our commitment to those standards. The timing and nature of this, and all of our transactions, are based on the judgment of our Basketball leadership as to how best to achieve our singular goal of rebuilding an elite team.”
“We have high standards for all of our players,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “We expect them to represent the team and the community in a positive manner both on and off the court.”
He was originally drafted by the Miami Heat in 2008 with the second overall pick.
The Suns will pay Beasley $7 million not to play for the team, according to John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix.
Beasley has agreed to a 7 million dollar buyout saving the Suns 2 million dollars— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) September 3, 2013
It's unclear if the Lakers will renew their interest in Beasley, but the team has been linked to a number of forwards in free agency, including Marcus Landry, Nick Minnerath, Gary Forbes, Lou Amundson, Shawne Williams and Pete Mickeal.
Beasley is a capable scorer who can stretch the floor at either forward position -- a skill set the Lakers are still looking to add to the roster -- but he has a poor reputation as a defender.
Before Beasley hits free agency, he will need to clear waivers over the next 48 hours. It's unlikely he'll be claimed by the few teams with the financial resources to do so.
The most the Lakers can offer Beasley is a contract starting at the minimum for a five-year veteran at $1 million.
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