Rockets: Houston has been a place for players to revive their careers
2) Michael Beasley (2015-2016 season)
That’s right folks, Beasley makes the list and his story is quite unique. The 6′ 9″ Forward was drafted second overall by the Miami Heat in 2008 after the Bulls elected to select Derrick Rose as the #1 overall pick. He spent his first two seasons playing alongside Dwyane Wade and did not disappoint averaging 14 ppg/5 RPG on 47% shooting with his role being primarily a sixth man. He earned a spot on the All-Rookie First Team. His sophomore year, he became a starter and averaged nearly the same stats with a slight improvement in scoring due to increased minutes.
Beasley’s defined role as the second option behind wade didn’t last too long as he was traded in the offseason in 2010 which paved the way for Miami creating the Big Three with Bosh and Lebron. Beasley enjoyed another year of meaningful production with his new team, Minnesota. He averaged a career-high in scoring alongside teammate, Kevin Love.
In his last year under his rookie contract, Beasley dealt with injuries that shortened his season. However, he did manage to pick up a three-year contract from Phoenix during Free Agency in the Summer of 2012. Unfortunately, Beasley reverted back into a role player averaging a career low at that time in MPG, FG%, RPG, and PPG.
The following season, Beasley was waived due to possession of marijuana. From there, it was downhill for him. Beasley bounced around between rejoining a successful Miami Heat team with a reduced role or finding success playing internationally in the CBA.
It seemed bleak at the moment for the former second overall pick until the joining Houston midway during the 2015-2016 season. Due to the team’s struggles from the start of the season along with the injuries they encountered at the power forward position, a hungry Michael Beasley was able to find his niche with the team and assisted in their playoff push for the 8th seed.
Beasley only played that season with Houston which lasted 20 games however he was the only bright spot for the Rockets that season as the team dealt with injuries, coaching changes, and an underwhelming season overall considering they finished 2nd in their conference the year before while reaching the Western Conference Finals.
Although it was a temporary gig, Beasley’s importance to the team is demonstrated through advanced stats which had him second on the team in PER behind James Harden at 22.5, third in TS% (.563) among constant rotational players, and second in Points in Per 36 minutes (25.3 compared to Harden’s 27.4).
Beasley went on to get traded next season to the Bucks who highly coveted him after his impressive season with Houston. Beasley remains active in the league and is working on expanding his skill-set in an NBA landscape that is constantly changing for traditional forwards. His efficiency in terms of scoring after his stint with the Rockets remain as some of his career highs and kept him relative in the league. Hopefully, Beasley continues his upward trend in improving his game.
Next: #3 (The Last one I Promise)