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What’s Next For Michael Beasley?

At just 25, Michael Beasley could be looking at his last shot to make it in the NBA.

In theory, Michael Beasley was supposed to be great. With super athletic ability, he dominated opponents in college at just 18 years old. With physical metrics that were off the charts, he possessed a body ready to compete in the NBA. He could score from the post and facing the basket. Everything was in place for him to be a great NBA player.

Now, after three teams in six seasons, Beasley is unsigned late into free agency, with off the court issues having stalled the former number two draft pick from reaching his potential. After two seasons in Phoenix that ended badly, he was released and signed by the Miami Heat, the team that drafted him in 2008. He averaged a modest 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game averaging 15 minutes, but only played in 55 games all season and appeared in only four of the the Heat’s playoff games.

At this point it seems unlikely the Heat will bring Beasley back, which leaves the Lakers as the “frontrunner” to sign him. The team brought him in for a workout on July 30th, and while the reports suggest he looked good there has been little information since that a deal is in the works.

Beasley could be a solid fit for the Lakers however, but again, in theory. The team is slim at the three spot, with Wes Johnson being the only true small forward on the roster. If signed, Beasley would certainly compete with Johnson for minutes. Still, the end product has almost never lived up to the expectations with Beasley, aside from his first year in Minnesota when he averaged 19.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

If the Lakers and the rest of the NBA decide against signing him, international basketball could be calling. The Chinese Basketball Association would be one to watch, considering their recent trend of signing American players like high school phenom Emmanuel Mudiay, Metta World Peace (or apparently now, The Panda’s Friend), and of course NBA great Byron Mullens. Despite Beasley’s shortcomings in the NBA, he would likely be a draw for fans in China, and who knows, if he revitalizes his career he could earn his way back into the NBA. Ultimately, things may have not gone as hoped for Michael Beasley, and time might be running out, but he still has options left.