Heat’s Former No. 2 Pick Returns to Basketball, Signs 7-Figure Deal

Michael Beasley

Getty Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 28, 2014.

The Miami Heat‘s former No. 2 overall pick from the 2008 Draft, Michael Beasley, hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2018-2019 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the veteran forward isn’t ready to call it a career just yet.

The 33-year-old, who had three stints with the Heat over his 14-year professional career, is returning to play with the Chinese Basketball Association and getting paid handsomely to do so, as first reported by The Athletic’s Sham Charania on Sunday, June 5.

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Charania tweeted, “Sources: Former NBA No. 2 pick Michael Beasley is returning to professional basketball and will sign a seven-figure deal with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association.”

Beasley previously played for the Shanghai Sharks following his first return to Miami during the 2013-2014 season. The Heat made it to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight time, their fourth and final season during the “Big Three” era with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Entering the postseason as the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, the Heat fell to the San Antonio Spurs 4-1.

In September 2014, after the Memphis Grizzlies waived the Kansas State alum, he signed a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks. Beasley shined overseas, coming off the bench to score 59 points during the 2015 CBA All-Star Game — a league record.

Michael Beasley

GettyMiami Heat forward Michael Beasley dunks at the American Airlines Arena on November 9, 2013 in Miami, Florida.

Beasley again returned to play with the Heat in 2015, but after Miami declined to pick up his $1.3 million option for the following season, he was back on the free agency market. Before returning to the NBA as a member of the Houston Rockets in 2016, Beasley spent 2015-2016 with the CBA, this time playing with the Shandon Golden Stars. The power forward was named the league’s Foreign MVP, per The Score‘s Patrick Britton, averaging 31.9 points, 13.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.

Beasley was close to returning to the NBA two years ago. NBC Sports‘ Kurt Helin reported the former Heat star signed on to play for the Brooklyn Nets in the bubble, “but then tested positive for COVID and couldn’t go.” His contract was voided prior to the start of the 2020 Playoffs.

Beasley was Spotted Working Out in Miami With Bam Adebayo in January, Teasing an NBA Comeback

Last summer, Beasley kept his dream for a comeback alive, agreeing to play with the Portland Trail Blazers for the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League. While Beasley signed with the Blazers, all 30 NBA teams participated in the NBA’s Summer League, which gave him an opportunity to possibly earn a contract from any franchise willing to take a chance on the veteran forward.

Beasley averaged 11.4 points while shooting 44% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc during Summer League, along with 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 22.7 minutes per game, per Hoops Hype‘s Michael Scotto.

Ultimately, Beasley didn’t find a new home in the NBA but didn’t give up on returning to play. He hired Briscoe Sports Group agent Charles Briscoe, and in January 2022, was spotted working out in Miami with Heat stars Bam Adebayo and P.J. Tucker.

Beasley Commented on His Checkered Past, Rollercoaster NBA Career

Michael Beasley

GettyMichael Beasley #11 walks off the court smiling after he received two technical fouls and was ejected from the game against the Golden State Warriors during the NBA preseason basketball game at SAP Center on October 12, 2018.

The 6-foot-9 forward played with the Heat from 2008-10, 2013-14, and 2015, and also spent time with the Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Rockets, and Lakers.

However, the what-could-ve-been question remains. Beasley “sabotaged a once-promising career,” as stated by Bleacher Report‘s Grant Hughes, who detailed his list of off-the-court transgressions after he was arrested in Scottsdale Arizona on August 6, 2013, for marijuana possession.

Before getting drafted just behind Derrick Rose in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Big 12 Player of the Year was described as having issues with his “attitude, focus, and off-court red flags,” per his Draft Express profile, and right off the bat, Beasley was slapped with a $50,000 fine following an incident at the 2008 Rookie Transition Program.

Over the next five years, Beasley struggled with off-the-court issues, which seemed to stunt his ability to stay with a team long-term. Flash forward to January 2022, when Scotto asked Beasley if there was “any advice you’d give yourself earlier in your career or do differently, and he gave the following answer:

I would believe in myself. I’ve been battling confidence issues my whole life. Everybody’s voices, everybody’s negative opinions. I was 19, and they were expecting me to be a grown-up. I wish I had the mindset and the balls to have fun and play basketball the way I know how to play basketball.

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