Bucks Lead

Time to Bring Back Beasley?

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(Update: A few hours after this article was posted, Beasley signed with the Lakers.

But here’s why Beasley back to the Bucks would’ve made sense.)

When the Bucks originally traded Tyler Ennis for Michael Beasley right before the 2016-17 season in the wake of Khris Middleton‘s hamstring injury, some fans were skeptical of Beasley’s presence, even before allowing him to show what he was truly capable of.

After understanding his ability to step up, Beasley quickly became a fan-favorite, changing any doubters’ minds.

This all-star vote tweet was sent out shortly after Michael Beasley took over in a win against the San Antonio Spurs. Giannis was unable to play due to an illness that night, but nothing really changed, as Beasley finished with 28 points, five rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Full highlights below.

Though he did step up when called upon, his short year in Milwaukee (56 games, 6 starts) saw him average just 9.4 points (53% FG, 42% 3Pt, 74% FT) and 3.4 rebounds across 16.7 minutes per game. Under 20 minutes per game is fairly low for someone who can produce at the rate he does, but the depth chart was never in Beasley’s favor under Jason Kidd. Instances like the game against the Spurs really shined a light on his potential value when he does receive significant minutes (20+/gm).

Off the court, we saw a funny, quirky and lovable guy in Beasley. He took over Bucks’ Snapchat late in the 2016-17 season, and it was very entertaining to say the least.

Skip ahead to 2:19. “Yeah I like playing in Milwaukee, what kind of question is that?”

The keyword here, is playing. Something he wasn’t able to do as much as he wanted to.

Moving ahead to the summer of 2017, the Bucks were quite clogged at the four with Jabari Parker, Mirza Teletovic and newly drafted DJ Wilson all projected to log significant minutes at power forward, especially upon Jabari’s return from ACL rehab in February.

So Beasley decided to pack his bags, inking a one-year deal with the New York Knicks on August 8th of last year, signaling the end of his short time in Milwaukee. In an interview following his signing with the Knicks, Beasley would later tell Marc Berman of the New York Post that he wasn’t interested in re-signing with the Bucks:

“Milwaukee got a nice young core – unfortunately, the bulk of their corps play my position,’’ Beasley said. ‘Minutes for me, there just wasn’t what I wanted to see. Not that I’m not interested in helping the young guys, but I didn’t feel comfortable watching 30-plus minutes of basketball a night. I think I’ve deserved more minutes than I’ve gotten. Going forward, I feel I’m good enough and proven myself enough to not watch more than half the game every night.’’

A big part of that “young core” is now gone. A year later, Jabari and Mirza are out, DJ’s role is unclear, and the Bucks are beginning a new system under widely-respected head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Ersan Ilyasova‘s return helps fill some void at the four, but the Bucks are still in need of shoring up that position in order to add further position flexibility. B-Easy would do just that, and maybe more, for the right price. His talent, when used correctly, could be just as good if not better than what Jabari has done. He adds a familiar, veteran presence that can be very beneficial to where the Bucks are headed now.

He did leave Cream City for The Big Apple, but the opportunity made sense for him at the time, and he didn’t disappoint, even receiving ‘MVP’ chants at the Madison Square Garden following a superb, 32-point onslaught against the Celtics.

Beasley finished the 2017-18 season averaging 13.2 points (50% FG, 40% 3Pt, 78% FT), 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 22.3 minutes per game. He’s shown he can produce when given the minutes.

The Knicks are still in rebuild mode, and the new system under Mike Budenholzer has a role for a guy like Michael Beasley, especially with Jabari gone. Bringing back the Beas should be a no brainer at this point.

Follow us on Twitter @BucksLead for the latest updates and insight on the Bucks and G-League affiliate Wisconsin Herd.

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About Eric Peterson

CEO and Content Manager at TLSM and Bucks Lead branch. Currently studying Sport Management at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Twitter: @EricTLSM

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