Michael Beasley available?

With the summer fast approaching, it is time for off-season Pacers' personnel prognostications. (How about that for alliteration?) Some of us have even gotten an early start on offering our suggestions to Larry Bird and Co. There have been a lot of wild scenarios thrown around on this site and others, but a new one popped up today that I hadn't considered before.

Two different posts went up on Pro Basketball Talk  in the past week suggesting that Miami might be ready to give up on Michael Beasley. (Dumping Beasley might be the Heat's best option, Sign of the Future?) With Beasley sitting the entire second half last night as Miami was eliminated this scenario seems to be approaching plausible.

Beasley's lack of development defensively, coupled with his ineffective production offensively, mixed with his visible lack of effort may be the recipe for Miami to look for a way out. One of the posts implies that Miami might be willing to move him and someone like Daequan Cook or James Jones for nothing but a future 1st Round draft pick. The rationale is, that with the slightly higher salary cap projections, by dumping that salary Miami could potentially pursue three max free agents this summer. A lot of fans, myself included, have bemoaned the Pacers lack of top tier talent.

So is this a move worth pursuing? Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons.

 

 

Let's start by taking a look at some of Beasley's stats from this year:

FG% 3P% FT% Pts/40 Reb/40 Ast/40 Stl/40 Blk/40 TO/40 PER

45.0%

27.5%

80.0%

19.9

8.6

1.7

1.4

0.9

2.2

16.2

AtRim FGA AtRim FG% <10ft. FGA <10ft. FG% 10-15ft. FGA 10-15ft. FG% 16-23ft. FGA 16-23ft. FG% 3PTA eFG%
5.2 65.0% 2.2 42.9% 2.3 32.1% 6.4 39.0% 1.8 41.9%
  • Beasley's Per 40 Minute averages look very respectable. His shot location data gets a little bit more scary. He scores at the rim a decent amount and at a terrific percentage. Unfortunately, he still averages 6.4 FGA/40 from the 16-23ft. range, the least efficient scoring area on the floor.

 

Off Rating.

Def. Rating

Net

eFG%

eFG% Allowed

On Court

107.3

107.3

-0.0

49.9%

49.6%

Off Court

109.4

102.4

+7.0

49.5%

46.1%

  • This is another set of numbers where Beasley just looks horrible. Everyone is aware of his struggles at the defensive end. I was shocked to see that the Heat also average an extra 2.1 points per 100 possessions when he is off the floor. Just more reinforcement of how inefficient large amount of long 2-point jumpers are.
  • The one ray of sunshine would be a comparison of his numbers when playing SF versus PF. The graphs are a little too much for me to reproduce here, so I will just link to they data on his player page from 82games. The section I am referring to is called Production by Position and it shows that Beasley was much, much better in his minutes at PF than in his minutes at SF.

So after looking at the stats, how would he fit in with the Pacers?
Cons:

  • We need another guy in love with long jumpers like we need another Ike Diogu.
  • Acquiring Beasley will crowd an already overcrowded frontcourt rotation. We'll likely enter next year with Hibbert, Foster, Murphy, McRoberts, Hansbrough, Solomon Jones and possibly our 1st Round Draft Pick in the front court. If we get Beasley it might mean giving up on another promising young forward.
  • His skill set is very similar to Troy Murphy's. The consensus is that we need a long, mobile, rebounder/shot-blocker at the PF position to pair with Hibbert. Beasley is none of those things.
  • He has several red flags in the character and motivation departments. In addition to possible negative impacts on the team, these make it extremely unlikely Larry bird would actually pull the trigger on this deal.
  • He has the potential to make us even worse defensively.
  • We would likely have to give up our 2011 1st Round pick, which has the potential to be very high in a very deep draft. Since the deal would be mostly a salary dump for Miami, it is doubtful we could get them to take T.J. Ford or one of the other "undesirables" off our hands. We would also need to drop some salary or pay a small amount of luxury tax.
  • He is a player who needs coaching, motivation and skill development; not exactly hallmarks of the Jim O'Brien era in Indiana.

Pros:

  • For a team short on talent, this is a previous #1 overall draft pick.
  • He has the potential to be an elite scorer.
  • We don't have to give up any proven assets to get him. In addition, his contract is very reasonable with only next season guaranteed at just under 5 mil, and a team option for the season after that.
  • We could hopefully make him the long term answer at PF, and change our draft strategy for this season. Acquiring Beasley would make it easier for us to trade down and go after a wing like Xavier Henry, James Anderson or Eric Bledsoe (I'm sure everyone knows my opinion on Bledsoe, but whatever).
  • I said it before, but it bears repeating. He was the #1 overall pick and has the potential to be an ELITE scoring talent!

So what do you think? Is he worth the risk?

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