Since recently being cut by the Phoenix Suns, Michael Beasley is at a crossroads. Once believed to be better than Derrick Rose, a franchise player and worthy of massive contracts, Beasley has since shown himself to be something of a difficult case. Be it his lack of defense, sporadic shots, or often questionable off-the-court behavior, the player who was once poised to be at the top of the league is now on the outside looking in, probably wondering what the heck happened.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics also stand at a crossroads. Only shortly removed from title contention, the Celtics are now a young team with little veteran leadership, under a new coach with an odd core of players. They now find themselves on the outside looking in at the league’s elite, although I don’t think there is any doubt in their minds what got them there.
As rumors surface over the future of Beasley, many have listed teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers or the New York Knicks as possible landing spots for the former star. However, I have recently heard talk of the Celtics wanting to be the team that gives Beasley his final shot at an NBA career.
For what discussion of adding Beasley to Boston there has been, the only reasoning behind it seems to be philosophical gems like, “Why not?” or “What do the Celtics have to lose?” usually followed by my personal favorite, “They can’t get any worse.” Allow me to assure you the Celtics can get much, much worse. And yes, they have plenty to lose. Right now, the Celtics are tomorrow’s team. They’ll probably stink it up this season, but allow the core they’ve put together to develop, and they have a very formidable crew moving forward.
The addition of Beasley would not benefit that.
Right now, the Celtics are poised to be a sub-optimal defense team. I don’t think they’re going to let their opponents score All-Star game numbers on them, but don’t expect the same tight ship Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett ran. Regardless, the Celtics need defenders and Beasley is far from one. In fact, one of the knocks against his game is how a player of his size can be such an inadequate defender.
Also, Beasley has generally been a score-first sort of player, highlighted by his poor shot selection. Scoring is one of the few areas the Celtics will not have to get desperate to fill this coming season. Sure, it could use work and beggars can’t be choosers, but on the offensive end, the Celtics aren’t beggars.
The fact that Beasley plays the position the Celtics have the most of doesn’t help his case either. Signing the shooting guard Beasley would be a large gamble, and puts players like Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley at risk. Adding a potentially good player is not worth crowding out a currently good one. The Celtics front office should not add to the shooting guard log jam, period. Beasley is no exception.
Combine the elephant in the room that is Beasley’s personality with an inexperienced coach and the social enigma that is Rajon Rondo, and the Beasley-in-Boston experiment could very well end before it even reaches a court.
Can Beasley still salvage a career that looks lost? Will a team take him and put him back on track and make him the talent he was believed to be? I certainly hope so. However, the Celtics need not serve as the staging area for a Beasley restoration. While Beasley could be a valuable addition to an NBA squad, it’s not the one in Boston.