Michael Beasley

John Wall Played Pick-Up With Amar’e Stoudemire, Others During NBAGL Assignment

It has been 14 months since Wizards point guard John Wall ruptured his Achilles and the point guard was progressing nicely before the NBA suspended its season. Wall had been practicing with the Capital City Go-Go – Washington’s G League team – leading up to the hiatus, Fred Katz of The Athletic passes along in detailed piece.

“It just gets harder as you go along to collect guys off the street,” GM Tommy Sheppard said. “You want a highly competitive deal, so we sort of decided with John, it was time to play with the Go-Go (and) practice. And when we can, we’d have a scrimmage for him. It’s just been wonderful. It validates our process we have in place, to be able to utilize the Go-Go for so many functions to help the Wizards. And for them, I think those kids were freakin’ thrilled to play with John.”

The Wizards have been careful with the former All-Star’s recovery. There was never an expectation that he would play this season and even if the league resumes this summer, he won’t see the court.

Wall was scrimmaging every three days or so prior to the NBA suspending its season. He started going through controlled scrimmages with the team’s player development staff, Katz writes. He also participated in casual pick-up games with some former NBA players like Amar’e Stoudemire, Michael Beasley, and Jeremy Tyler.

The G League team would hold scrimmages roughly twice a week and Wall would get in 20-to-25 minutes of action in those contests.

Wall has publicly stated that he wanted to be a player development coach or a GM after he hangs up his jersey. He’s already begun that kind of work, helping the Wizards’ young guys improve on the court.

“He’s been an extra coach for me,” teammate Admiral Schofield said. “And it’s great hearing it from John Wall, a player you’ve grown up watching and playing against. Just feedback and little things and hearing him get excited when you make shots and him being confident in you knocking down shots is great.”

Pistons Sign Joe Johnson

SEPTEMBER 19: The Pistons have officially signed Johnson, the team announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 12Joe Johnson and the Pistons have reached an agreement a contract, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. League sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link) that it’s a partially guaranteed one-year deal.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) first reported that the two sides were on the verge of an agreement. A report earlier this week indicated that Detroit was the frontrunner for the free agent forward.

Johnson, 38, has appeared in nearly 1,400 career NBA games, counting the postseason, but didn’t play in the league in 2018/19 after finishing the ’17/18 campaign in Houston. The 17-year NBA veteran showed he still had something left in the tank during his run in Ice Cube‘s BIG3 league this summer, earning MVP honors and leading his 3-on-3 team to a championship.

Following his stint in the BIG3, Johnson drew interest from a handful of NBA teams, reportedly lining up workouts with the Sixers, Bucks, and Nets in addition to the Pistons. However, Detroit emerged as the apparent favorite in part due to Johnson’s connection to Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem, a former agent who used to represent Iso Joe.

Assuming Johnson finalizes a deal with the Pistons, he may have to compete with Christian Wood for the team’s final regular season roster spot. Michael Beasley was also expected to vie for that spot, but Goodman suggests the former No. 2 overall pick will be released to open up room on the 20-man offseason roster for Johnson.

Technically, it doesn’t appear that Beasley actually signed with the Pistons after agreeing to terms on a non-guaranteed contract with the team last month. Now that he’s the odd man out, his deal will likely just never be completed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Michael Beasley Ineligible To Sign With Chinese Team

SEPTEMBER 18: The Chinese Basketball Association has notified Shanxi that Beasley is ineligible to sign in China due to his NBA drug suspension, a source tells Carchia (Twitter link).

SEPTEMBER 17: The Shanxi Loongs are interested in bringing free agent forward Michael Beasley back to China, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. According to Carchia, Shanxi would look to part ways with Malcolm Thomas if the club is able to sign Beasley.

This is the second time this offseason we’ve heard about Beasley drawing overseas interest. A report in early August suggested that the 30-year-old had an offer in the range of $5MM on the table from a team in the Chinese Basketball Association. It’s not clear if that team was Shanxi — or if Beasley would still be able to land a payday in that range.

Rather than accepting that reported offer, Beasley reached a tentative agreement to sign with the Pistons in mid-August. However, he never technically finalized that deal. With Detroit now poised to bring in Joe Johnson to fill the final spot on its offseason roster, the former No. 2 overall pick is the odd man out and won’t sign with the club after all, forcing him to resume his search for a new home.

Beasley has had multiple stints in the CBA in the past, playing for Shanghai in 2014/15, Shandong in 2015/16, and Guangdong earlier in 2019. So if he does sign with Shanxi, he’d be returning to a familiar setting.

It’s worth noting that Shams Charania of The Athletic reported last month that the CBA was in the process of implementing a new guideline that would bar a player facing a drug- or violence-related ban or suspension in another league from signing with a CBA team.

Charania cited Tyreke Evans, who has been banned from the NBA for at least two years due to drug violations, as a player who would affected by this rule, but it’s not clear if Beasley – who is facing a five-game NBA suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy – would also be impacted. Presumably, if Shanxi is interested, the rule either hasn’t been made official or wouldn’t specifically apply to a short-term suspension like Beasley’s.

Heat Notes: Reed, Herro, Beasley, Butler

Davon Reed will have a chance for stability for the first time in his NBA career when he competes for one of the Heat’s two-way slots in training camp, writes Shandel Richardson of The Athletic. A second-round pick by the Suns in 2017, Reed spent most of his rookie season in the G League, appearing in 21 games with Phoenix. Last year, the shooting guard signed a two-way contract with the Pacers and got into 10 NBA games.

Reed, who spent four years at the University of Miami, inked a training camp deal with the Heat last week and is looking forward to the opportunity with an organization that has seen past two-way players Duncan Robinson and Derrick Jones Jr. both earn standard contracts.

“I haven’t really been given a huge window, be it (due to) injuries or being released from Phoenix at the beginning of last season,” Reed said. “I kind of had to start over at a late time. The obstacles have been against me. I’m just taking everything in stride. I’m looking forward to being with this team and giving it my all, and (I hope to) have an immediate impact.”

There’s more this morning from Miami:

  • The addition of Jimmy Butler makes it less likely that rookie Tyler Herro will win a starting job right away in the Miami backcourt, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Butler moves the Heat into a win-now philosophy, meaning that Herro will have to work his way into a starting position. Winderman doesn’t expect him to start at all this season, unless the team is short-handed because of injuries.
  • Michael Beasley may be available again after Joe Johnson took his spot with the Pistons, but the Heat won’t bring him back, at least not right away, Winderman adds in the same column. Miami is hard-capped and the roster is virtually set after re-signing Udonis Haslem. If Beasley does return, it won’t happen before January.
  • Butler isn’t a superstar, but he gives team president Pat Riley someone to build the team around, observes Shaun Powell of NBA.com. Although Riley made a play for Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving this summer, he’ll be content with Butler after the Heat didn’t have an All-Star last season apart from Dwyane Wade, who was an honorary choice.

Pistons Notes: Beasley, Casey, Wood, Rose

As we noted when Joe Johnson agreed to sign with the Pistons earlier today, no roster move will be required to create room on the 20-man roster for the veteran forward.

Although multiple reports suggested that Michael Beasley would be waived, ESPN’s Bobby Marks confirms (via Twitter) that Beasley and the Pistons never officially finalized their reported agreement, so Johnson will simply take the spot on the roster that Beasley would have.

Of course, preseason rosters are generally fluid, so if the Pistons still want to bring the former second overall pick in for training camp, they could eventually do so — they’d just have to cut another camp invitee. However, a source tells Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link) that Beasley is unlikely to be in camp with Detroit.

Beasley still faces a five-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, so if and when he signs with a new NBA team, he’ll have to miss his first five regular season contests for that club.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • A source tells Ellis (Twitter link) that Pistons head coach Dwane Casey was “very instrumental” in selling Johnson on signing with Detroit.
  • Marks provides an update on the guarantee details on Christian Wood‘s contract, tweeting that Wood’s $1.65MM salary will only become partially guaranteed for $822K if he’s not waived by October 23. Wood figures to be Johnson’s primary competition for a regular season roster spot in Detroit.
  • While Derrick Rose‘s goal of winning a championship with the Pistons is admirable, the former MVP’s top priority should be staying healthy, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
  • Keith Langlois of Pistons.com lauds the work that head of basketball operations Ed Stefanski has done in the last two offseasons to add young talent to the Pistons’ roster. Five players currently under contract with the team were drafted in the last two years, and that list doesn’t include 2017 lottery pick Luke Kennard, 22-year-old big man Thon Maker, or draft-and-stash prospect Deividas Sirvydis.

Central Notes: Oladipo, Anthony, Young, Blatt

Victor Oladipo is sure the Pacers will make the playoffs due to the additions of Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. Warren and Jeremy Lamb, among others, as he told J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.

“I feel like we got some great additions. We got a chance to be really special. I feel like the league is wide open,” the Pacers’ guard said. “I was excited for the opportunity to play with (Brogdon). I know what type of player he is, the level that he plays on and has been playing on the last couple of years from Milwaukee. To have him as an addition is pretty big for us.”

Oladipo is working his way back from a quad injury and it’s uncertain whether he’ll be ready by the time the Pacers open training camp. “I’m not sure yet,” he told Mark Monteith of the team’s website.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Adding free agent Carmelo Anthony to the mix never made any sense for the Pistons, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press explains in his latest mailbag. Anthony’s game is predicated on isolation plays and that doesn’t fit the Pistons’ system. He’s also spent most of his time at power forward in recent seasons and the Pistons already signed Markieff Morris, a better defender, to back up Blake Griffin. They also added another veteran forward, Michael Beasley, to compete for a roster spot, Ellis adds.
  • Thaddeus Young is a quality finisher and that will help boost the Bulls’ offense, according to Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. Young shot 67.9% from inside three feet for the Pacers last season, while Chicago ranked 28th in the NBA in field goal percentage inside five feet, making just 58% of its attempts, Strotman notes. Young jumped teams on a three-year, $41MM pact early in the free agent season.
  • Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt is battling multiple sclerosis but plans to continue coaching, according to an Associated Press report. He’s currently the coach of the Greek team Olympiacos Piraeus. “I am a coach and my job is to lead and teach and inspire a lot of people,” Blatt wrote in the statement. “Not being as agile or active doesn’t affect my ability to do those things.”

And-Ones: Team USA, Beasley, Draft Picks, NCAA

While some NBA players have considered the matter, Paul George‘s gruesome leg injury suffered during a Team USA scrimmage in the summer of 2014 hasn’t necessarily impacted every player’s decision on playing in the FIBA World Cup next month, Marc Stein of the New York Times writes.

George, who was stretchered off the court after fracturing his tibia and fibula, was coming off a career season with averages of 21.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest at the time. Many wondered if George would ever be the same due to the injury, but he worked vigorously to get his body back to shape and eventually became an even better all-around player.

“I appreciate the guys who still come out here and do this, because a lot of people would say, ‘If something like that could happen, why would you come out here and risk it?’ But I was talking with Coach Malone and he said, ‘You guys are in the gym playing anyway.’ If you’re playing basketball, you’re playing basketball,” Nuggets center Mason Plumlee said, as relayed by Stein.

While Plumlee has opted to keep his name in team consideration for next month, several stars such as Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Love and others have already withdrawn from competition to focus on the upcoming NBA season.

The 2019 FIBA World Cup begins on Saturday, Aug. 31, with Team USA scheduled to play its first game against the Czech Republic on Sunday, Sept. 1.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world tonight:

  • Michael Beasley‘s five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy stems from a failed drug test last fall, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Beasley failed the test around the same time his mom was dying of cancer, Charania notes.
  • Seth Partnow of The Athletic examines why NBA teams aren’t hoarding first-round draft picks as frequently as they have in the past. Of the 30 first-round picks in June’s NBA draft, 11 of them changed teams either around or on the night of the event.
  • Michael McCann of Sports Illustated explored how NBA power agent Rich Paul could build a case against the NCAA for changing its criteria for agents who wish to represent collegiate players. The NCAA is expected to enforce that certified agents have a bachelor’s degree, be certified by the NBPA for at least three years and pass an in-person exam at the organization’s headquarters, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

Eastern Notes: Brooks, Poirier, Beasley, Magic

The Wizards are set to face a number of challenges entering the 2019/20 season, which could ultimately reinvigorate head coach Scott Brooks as the team works through its struggles, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports writes.

Brooks, who was hired by Washington in 2016 after eight years with Oklahoma City, is set to coach one of the league’s most underwhelming rosters on paper this season. The matter intensifies when you remember All-Star guard John Wall will likely sit the entire season due to a torn Achilles’ tendon.

“One thing I also want to really pipe in on is the support we have from Coach Brooks and his staff and the ability they have to pivot,” general manager Tommy Sheppard said. “When Coach Brooks got here, we won 49 games and we were one game away from going to the conference finals. That was kind of the team he got coming through the door. Now, this takes him back to his OKC days.”

The Wizards wound up missing the playoffs last season due to an assortment of injuries, and a new roster will certainly test the patience of Brooks this year as the franchise seeks to find a new identity under Sheppard.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference tonight:

Central Notes: Bender, Thompson, Clarkson, Beasley

The Cavaliers decided not to make a stronger play for Dragan Bender because he would have required too much guaranteed money, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Bender signed a two-year, $3.5MM deal with the Bucks last month that includes a partial guarantee of about $600K. Cleveland was hesitant to give that much to a player who wouldn’t have been a sure thing to make the roster.

After being selected with the fourth pick in the 2016 draft, Bender put up three uninspiring years in Phoenix, including averages of 5.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 46 games last season. He was an unrestricted free agent because the Suns declined his fourth-year option in October.

Instead of giving money to Bender, the Cavs opted for former Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell, who will come to camp on a non-guaranteed minimum contract. With Cleveland less than $3MM away from the luxury tax line, guaranteeing money for a player like Bender would have been risky.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson would have been available for trades earlier this summer, Fedor adds in the same story. Both will be free agents next July, and moving their salaries ($18.5MM for Thompson and $13.4MM for Clarkson) could offer the chance for cap relief. With training camp about six weeks away, Fedor doesn’t expect the Cavaliers to move either player soon, but their names should resurface closer to the February deadline.
  • Michael Beasley‘s agreement with the Pistons is expected to be non-guaranteed, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Beasley will battle Christian Wood, who was claimed off waivers last month, for the final roster spot. With the signing of Derrick Rose, Detroit has added the top two picks in the 2008 draft this summer.
  • Better ball movement will be an emphasis for the Bulls this year, writes Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. The team ranked near the bottom of the league last season in assist ratio, effective field goal percentage and several other key offensive categories. Chicago is counting on several offseason additions, such as the signing of Thaddeus Young, to help improve in those areas.

Pistons To Sign Michael Beasley

Free agent forward Michael Beasley has reached an agreement with the Pistons, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. His contract will cover one season and will likely be for the veteran’s minimum. He will be given a “legitimate opportunity” to make the roster in training camp, sources tell Charania.

Beasley appeared in 26 games for the Lakers last season, averaging 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per night. He was traded in February to the Clippers, who promptly waived him. He finished the season with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, and there was speculation that he might return to China if he didn’t get an NBA offer.

If he earns a roster spot, Beasley won’t be eligible for Detroit’s first five games because of a suspension that was handed down this week for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.

The 30-year-old was the second player picked in the 2008 draft. He spent time with the Heat, Timberwolves, Suns, Rockets, Bucks and Knicks before coming to L.A.

Beasley’s signing will bring the Pistons to the 20-player limit heading into camp next month. They already have 17 players under contract (14 fully guaranteed), along with a pair of two-way deals.