Weighing Michael Beasley, Again

As crazy as it seems from the outside, Michael Beasley is so persona non grata in Miami the team is rumored to be considering trading him for nothing, effectively dumping the 2008 No. 2 pick to free up cap space. I know it's 2010 and flexibility is everything, but damn. That was fast.

The Wizards were the first team mentioned as a rumored destination. Mike Prada of the Bullets Forever pleaded against Beasley's cheap acquisition. Surprising, that fans of a bad, bad team which is light up front would reject a 21-year-old seen as a savior just two years ago? Maybe not. Prada gives as reasons to reject Beasley the sheer amount of developmental resources he'd consume, resources already earmarked for players like Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.

There's another, somewhat related reason: Beasley's just not very good.

Among the 39 players who saw 500 minutes of play and had a usage rate above 25% -- that is, they used 25% or more of their team's possessions while on the court -- Beasley had the 6th worst True Shooting efficiency, better than only Bobby Brown, Tyler Hansbrough, Brandon Jennings, Rodney Stuckey and Russell Westbrook. Sure, Jennings and Westbrook had good and great seasons at that low efficiency. But they do other things: pass and defend. Beasley doesn't pass, and Beasley doesn't defend.

He rebounds, but not nearly as well as expected coming out of Kansas State. And that's the issue with considering him as a King -- this team needs rebounders! Jason Thompson is the team's best defensive rebounder, grabbing 20.3% of opportunities. He ranked No. 58 in the league. That's not good enough. The next King on the list in seldom-used Jon Brockman at No. 71. Spencer Hawes comes in at No. 98. Three Kings in the top 100 defensive rebounders in the league, none in the top 50. Problems!

Beasley comes in at No. 79. So he's not, at this point, a credible rebounder. And while he scores, he's among the least efficient scorers in the league. High-possession, low-efficiency scorers who don't help much in other aspects of the game ... where do I refuse to sign up?

Of course, he is 21. He'll likely get more efficient as time moves on, and given his fantastic ability to create his own shot he could become a great, great scorer. But if he doesn't, he's not going to learn to shoot less. Not without serious tough love. And to get use out of him at that point, you'd be relying on a massive jump in rebounding or defense. It seems all too unlikely. In the end, you're betting on a massive efficiency improvement, with the cost development time for another player, potential a season's worth of wasted possessions, and a not-insubstantial chunk of change ($11 million over the next two years).

It looks like a free lotto ticket, but it's not. Prada's right: whoever acquires Beasley is making a bet, one which is far from a sure thing. We'll see who bites.

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