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Premature Evaluation: Michael Beasley

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Michael Beasley found himself at the very top of the draft boards late in the season. A lock, some said. A sure thing. Then Chicago got the pick. Whoops. Granted, the Heat probably would have taken Rose as well. Sure, it would have been nice, but now he has less pressure.

The big concern when all the "whispers" (read: Bullshit) about the Heat passing on Beasley for Mayo stemmed from his attitude. He's a goofball. Not a problem child, but a goofball.  To be certain, this same laid back attitude causes Greg Oden to be revered as "cool."  Because being 7 feet changes things. The thought was that there was no way Riley would put up with Beasley being all nimbly pimbly (meow), and wanted another guard. The problem with this theory, is that it's completely asinine. Putting OJ Mayo in the same backcourt with Wade isn't just counterproductive, it's negative basketball. FAIL.  So in the end, of course the Heat took Beasley. They have no frontcourt scorers.  Beasley was leaps and bounds above the other picks.

This worked out better than the Heat could have imagined. Not only did Mario Chalmers show up for Summer League looking like a legit starter (late night partying in the worst circumstances with chickadees not withstanding), not only did Dwyane Wade show up for the Olympics looking not only healthy but somehow improved, but Beasley shredded the Summer League from the start, showing that he could contribute immediately. He played with passion, resolve, and confidence, all of which Rose lacked in that same league.

On this roster, Beasley enters a completely perfect situation.  Rose walks into a clubhouse loaded with overpaid guards with egos, a psychotic frontcourt, and numerous questions at multiple positions.

Beasley walks into the worst team in the league last year, record wise.  So there's no expectation. They're rebuilding post-Shaq, so there's no heightened anticipation for them to make the playoffs. He doesn't have to come in and be a world changer. He's got a superstar already on roster. Think about that. You're the #2 pick, but you don't have to make a huge impact every night because DWade's going to shoulder the load. He's not going to rebound incredibly well, and he'll suffer on defense.  That's fine. Because he's got Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem to back him up. All Beasley has to do is keep pace, drop some buckets, show some hustle, be willing to work, and do his thing. He's got free range to work his game into the offense, but he doesn't have to force attacking the basket while he gets himself in NBA shape. He doesn't have to be the guy taking the clutch shots down the stretch, and he doesn't have to even worry about dominating. He needs to be good to justify his pick, but he can also afford to develop. He's in the perfect situation.

In a way, it's a revealing look at the pressure variations between forwards and guards. Derrick Rose was screwed either way. He's in Chicago, where they're talking about starting him like it's a no-brainer, even though he hasn't showcased that he's ready for that kind of push yet.  In Miami, he'd be expected to blend perfectly with Wade, to be some sort of ultimate set-up man. He was doomed either way. But Beasley doesn't have to facillitate Wade. He's got to give him room and let him do his thing, but that shouldn't be terribly hard. Asking a rookie NOT to instantly be an All-Star is a rare treat. OJ Mayo has more pressure.

There's discussion of Beasley starting at the 4. This is madness, and not Sparta. Slide him in at the three, put Marion at 4. He's got the body to bang, but there's a steep curve in size to the NBA level, and he needs time to adjust. Let him drain mid-range Js and work the running game while he adds muscle. Marion's not built for the 4, either, but he can do it, and do it effectively. With Haslem availability to provide muscle, even if Marion gets moved for pieces, hopefully a legit 5, Beasley can work his way into it. In a way, it's similar to the path for Kevin Durant.  It's clear that he's going to end up as a 3, but they chose to ease him in at the 2. I can see the same with Beasley. There's no reason to throw him to the Tim Duncans and Kevin Garnetts of the world when he's more aptly built to guard the Luol Dengs and Boris Diaw's of the world.

The exact opposite is true of Beasley in almost every way. He's coming in confident, with a roster situation he fits perfectly in, he's not under pressure to make an immediate impact, he's got guys to help teach him, and the thing he's bad at are things he's supposed to be bad at as a rookie for his position. It's going to be a very good year for Beasley.