I just started laughing when the Rockers signed Michael Beasley. It was early evening on Wednesday at the beginning of March, and I was sitting on my couch looking at Twitter, and Marc Stein said the Rockets signed Beasley on a "rest-of-the-season-deal... with a team option next season," and I just started laughing.
I mean, why the hell not? In the midst of the Rockets' unwavering culture problems and massive disappointments, Daryl Morey chose to bring in a player who had been talented, if troubled from literally before his NBA career even began. I mean, that is only funny.
Beasley was and is talented, though. Before signing with the Rockets, he averaged an insane 31 and 13 with the Shandong Golden Stars in China, and was consequently named their league MVP. So, Morey took a gamble, like he usually does, and he put his money on talent, like he usually does, and it... worked out?
I still don't know, honestly. I think anyone who says they do is probably lying. Michael Beasley only played in 20 games in the regular season for the Rockets, and only five more in the playoffs. He only played about 20 minutes per game, but he scored about 13 points per game, but he took about 10 shots per game. I don't mean to be repetitive, but I do mean to flip flop. Truth is: that's just how a lot of Beasley's stats read. He couldn't shoot from three, but he couldn't miss from midrange. You couldn't afford to have him out there on defense, but the bench couldn't score if he wasn't in the game. He loved to have the ball in his hands, but he hated the ball.
A lot of his stats end up doing this kind of back and forth, and there absolutely are people who forcibly and solely cite the negative ones, just the same as there will be people who will only focus on the positive. I think Beasley's "season" with the Rockets is uniquely malleable in that sense: how many other players have been able to be both the savior of a season and the destroyer of offensive cohesion at the same time?
I guess I choose to think positively about B-Easy's tenure with Houston. He was massively more productive in this stint than he was in his last go-round through the NBA. He's always been in trouble off the court, but he really seemed truly focused on his job when he got to the Rockets. He certainly didn't make anything worse in the locker room, but then again how could he?
In fact, James Harden seemed to like playing with Michael Beasley. He stood up off the bench when Beas scored. He looked for Beas when he was in trouble. He trusted Michael Beasley with the ball. A lot of people debated over whether or not Beasley was actually producing efficiently when he was on the floor, and there were often moments where he'd have 8 or more shots in 8 or fewer minutes. I think, however, that there is something to be said for a guy that understands how to put the ball in the basket. And Beasley did that, regardless of how efficient it was, and you truly cannot say that about many of the players for the Houston Rockets this season.
The Rockets have the rights to Michael Beasley for next year, and I think they should take advantage of that. Even if he were to regress immediately, even if he were to get in trouble again within the first month of the season, I would still defend exercising the team option.
This season was abysmal on almost all accounts. Smiling, and laughing, and good times were gone for 87 games. I mean, really, think of how many times you smiled because of the Rockets this year. For me, a lot of those moments were because of Michael Beasley, and none of those moments were for the same reasons as when he was signed.