Feb. 10, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Phoenix Suns small forward Michael Beasley against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Beasley Released By Phoenix

There were grumblings last week about the possibility of this happening. It feels like a slightly puritanical reason to move a guy that doesn’t fit the new coach’s vision of how he wants to run his first NBA head coaching job. If it wasn’t such a foreseeable outcome, I would mention that the Suns also moved Jason Kidd, once upon a time, not too long after his domestic life started making headlines, but the chasm between Kidd and Skittles is so huge. Frop the AP…

The Suns announced Tuesday the release of forward Michael Beasley, who spent just one troubled season in Phoenix. Beasley, 24, was waived less than 14 months after he signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Suns. He was set to make $6 million in 2013-14 and $6.3 million in 2014-15, although only $3 million was guaranteed. In a statement, the Suns said they had reached a “termination agreement” with Beasley that “reduced” the compensation owed to Beasley and “increased” the team’s salary cap space over the next two seasons. The Associated Press reports that the agreement will cost the Suns $7 million. It appears that a series of off-court incidents finally caught up to Beasley, the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft, even though he promised to reform his behavior when he arrived in the desert last summer.

“The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix,” Suns president Lon Babby said in a statement. “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.”

Beasley was arrested for marijuana possession in August, which marked the third time during his tenure in Phoenix that he had found himself in hot water. In May, it was reported that Beasley was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault. (Beasley has not been charged but the case is still open, according to the Arizona Republic.) In February, news broke that Beasley was cited on Jan. 25 for multiple driving violations for driving 71 mph in a 45-mph zone at 1:10 a.m. in a Mercedes that did not have a license plate. Beasley was driving on a suspended license and a loaded gun was found in the vehicle. Suns management did not discipline Beasley after the incident.

“We have high standards for all of our players,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough, who was hired earlier this summer, said in a statement. “We expect them to represent the team and the community in a positive manner both on and off the court.”

Tags: Jeff Hornacek Michael Beasley Nba Offseason Phoenix Suns

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