Michael Beasley Leaves Grizzlies For China

4:29pm: Memphis has officially waived Beasley, the team announced in a press release.

4:10pm: The Grizzlies reported that Beasley has been ill recently, making it difficult for him to contend for the final regular season roster spot, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel notes. This information sheds some more light on why Beasley would decide to leave an NBA training camp to play overseas.

2:00pm: Beasley is receiving a “lucrative” one-year deal from the Sharks, Wojnarowski writes in his full story. Wojnarowski indicates that he’s already signed the contract, but the move can’t become official until the Grizzlies let him go and Beasley receives FIBA clearance.

1:30pm: Michael Beasley is leaving the Grizzlies and will sign to play in China, agent Jared Karnes tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). He’s set to join the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks, Wojnarowski adds (on Twitter). Beasley is on a non-guaranteed contract with Memphis, but the team has yet to formally release him. The Grizzlies would have to be on board with the move for Beasley to depart, and the former No. 2 overall pick has the best track record of the six players on non-guaranteed deals that Memphis brought to camp. Memphis only has 14 guaranteed contracts, seemingly indicating that Beasley had a decent shot to make the opening-night roster.

Still, Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said last month that the 25-year-old Beasley would have to “come in and take somebody’s spot,” suggesting that it wouldn’t necessarily be easy for him to remain on the roster into the regular season. The forward worked out for the Spurs and twice auditioned for Lakers brass, but it’s unclear if either club offered him a job. The Heat moved on from him after he spent last season with Miami, and while a report indicated the team had concerns about his maturity and his ability to play defense, Heat team president Pat Riley suggested there were no such issues.

Beasley was on a non-guaranteed contract this time last year with the Heat, but he stuck with the team for the entire season, averaging 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. His 38.9% three-point shooting and 16.8 PER were his best marks in either category since his rookie season.

The terms of Beasley’s deal with Shanghai are unclear, but I’d imagine it involves some guaranteed salary, although that’s just my speculation. Most Chinese contracts involving NBA veterans cover one season without NBA escape clauses, but because the Chinese season ends much earlier than the NBA’s does, many players in Beasley’s position are able to latch on with NBA teams for the back stretch of the regular season and the playoffs.

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2 thoughts on “Michael Beasley Leaves Grizzlies For China

  1. Kevin6CD

    Someone please make sure that he knows he can’t bring weed through customs.


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