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Suns Buy Out Michael Beasley

3:19pm: Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the details on Beasley's buyout (via Twitter): He'll earn $7MM overall, instead of the $9MM he had been guaranteed.

Beasley's 2013/14 salary (and the Suns' cap hit) will be reduced from $6MM to $4.67MM. His second-year salary will be reduced from $3MM to $2.33MM — both the payment and the cap hit for that $2.33MM will be spread over the next three years (starting in 2014/15), according to Coro (via Twitter).

2:28pm: The Suns have officially waived Beasley, the team announced today in a press release. The release notes that the two sides reached a buyout agreement, meaning the overall amount the Suns owe him for the next two seasons will be reduced, along with the cap hits.

"The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix," said president of basketball operations Lon Babby in a statement. "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."

1:55pm: Michael Beasley's stint in Phoenix will come to an end in the near future, according to's Marc Stein, who reports that the Suns will waive Beasley in the coming days. Stein indicates that Phoenix will likely make the move official this week, with the 24-year-old forward on track to clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent shortly thereafter.

Beasley signed a three-year, $18MM contract with the Suns last summer, but underwhelmed on the court in his first season in Phoenix, and was plagued by off-court issues as well. Most recently, the Kansas State product was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession, making his release a near certainty.

The Suns have elected to wait until after August 31st to officially release Beasley, meaning the team will pay his full $6MM salary for 2013/14 in normal intervals. Had Phoenix waived Beasley between July 1st and August 31st, the remaining guaranteed money on his contract ($9MM) would have been paid over the next five years. By clearing about $5.5MM in salary in last week's Caron Butler trade with the Bucks, the Suns made it more palatable to waive Beasley and eat his full salary this year, getting his contract off the books sooner rather than later.

The second overall pick in the 2008 draft, Beasley had the least productive year of his career in 2012/13, setting career-lows in PPG (10.1), RPG (3.8), PER (10.8), and FG% (.405), among other categories. He almost certainly won't be claimed on waivers, meaning he'll be free to sign with any NBA team after the Suns officially cut him. While a player with Beasley's talent will likely get another chance, I imagine many teams will steer clear due to concerns about a potential negative locker-room influence.

After trading Butler for multiple players and signing first-round pick Alex Len, the Suns are up to 17 players on guaranteed contracts. They'll reduce that number by one when Beasley is formally released, but will still need to make at least one more cut (or trade) before opening night to get down to the regular-season maximum of 15.

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