The Phoenix Suns have officially released former 2008 second-overall draft pick Michael Beasley, the organization announced, ending a tumultuous year where Beasley struggled on the court, feuded with coaches and got into trouble off the court. The latest incident, when Beasley was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession in August, led to the Suns' decision to part ways with him after the first season of a three-year contract.
"The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley's success in Phoenix," Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said in a press release. "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."
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough previously mentioned that a "resolution" regarding Beasley's future with the organization would come "soon."
Beasley agreeing to a buyout for less than the remaining $9 million in guaranteed salary over the final two years of his contract, reports John Gambadoro of KTAR Phoenix. The Suns cleared $5.6 million in salary when they traded Caron Butler to the Milwaukee Bucks, softening the blow of cutting ties to Beasley who averaged 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in his first -- and only -- season with the organization.
Beasley will turn 25 during the 2013-2014 NBA season and will look to land on his fourth NBA team in six seasons after being a high-profile college prospect out of Kansas State.