Suns release Michael Beasley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images/Sports IllustratedThere is a long list of NBA players who failed to live up to their potential whether it was because of injuries or attitude or whatever. Michael Beasley is only the latest in a long line of wasted talent.

Michael Beasley's up-and-down, mostly down, career in the NBA took a sharp turn south and it is very likely Beasley will be out of the NBA shortly. The Phoenix Suns cut the mercurial forward Tuesday. The team agreed to a buy out Beasley and will likely pay him less than the full $6 million he is owed this season and the $3 million guaranteed he would have been owed next year.

Suns president Lon Babby issued a release, commenting on Beasley' departure:

The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix. 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 signed a three-year deal with the Suns last summer and averaged 10.1 points per game in a little more than 20 minutes per game in what will amount to his only season in Phoenix.

He ran into trouble this year, however, when he was arrested for marijuana possession in early August. It was not the first time he had run afoul of the law on marijuana charges and he certainly has been in the crosshairs of the NBA's substance abuse program. Beasley's career has fallen completely apart.

There was a time, of course, when the debate was between Michael Beasley and Derrick Rose for the top overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. The Bulls had a very serious decision to make. They clearly made the right one, leaving the Heat to take the scraps in the form of the 2008 All-American from Kansas State.

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Beasley never quite lived up to his hype and his attitude and apparent drug use ketp him from being the player he could be.

At his best, Beasley was a smooth and athletic scorer for a guy his size who could have been a Carmelo Anthony lite. Beasley never became any of that.

Now he might not have a place in the league. In another era, Beasley might get a second third chance. With the way teams are getting built now — about efficiency and culture — it does not seem likely Beasley will play in the NBA again.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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