The Phoenix Suns' Dilemma With Michael Beasley

Apr 22, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Michael Beasley (8) shoots against Golden State Warriors guard Charles Jenkins (22) during the fourth quarter at Target Center. Warriors won 93-88. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The acquisition of Luis Scola could negatively impact Michael Beasley.

Sunday's Phoenix Suns acquisition could impact an earlier pick up in a negative fashion.

First, I want to clarify, picking up Luis Scola off amnesty waivers was a fantastic move. At around $4 million per season over the next three years, with the final year not totally guaranteed, this is one of the best value contracts in the NBA.

For now the Suns have an overabundance of big men including Scola, Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick. Not to mention the possibility of them bringing back Robin Lopez if it's at the right price.

The issue???

Suns free agent signing Michael Beasley plays his best basketball when he plays power forward. Check out these stats from 82games.com from the last two years of Beasley's career.

09-10 Miami Heat

Player Floor Time Stats by Position
Position
Min
Net Pts
Off
Def
Net48
W
L
Win%
PG
SG
SF
8% -99 80.4 95.0 -14.6 11 25
30%
PF
50% +108 98.1 95.5 2.6 40 36
52%
C
0% 0 .0 .0 .0
0%

Min represents the percentage of the team's total minutes the player was at that position. W and L are not adjusted in this instance by quality of opponent while at that position in a game.

Player 48-Minute Production by Position
Position
FGA
eFG%
FTA
iFG
Reb
Ast
T/O
Blk
PF
Pts
PER*
PG
SG
SF
21.5 .403 6.1 25% 10.0 2.8 2.7 .7 3.7 22.2 14.9
PF
21.5 .473 4.8 30% 10.3 1.9 2.7 1.1 4.7 24.1 18.9
C
.0 .000 .0 0% .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0

10-11 Minnesota Timberwolves

Player Floor Time Stats by Position
Position
Min
Net Pts
Off
Def
Net48
W
L
Win%
PG
SG
SF
33% -217 98.5 106.2 -7.7 23 44
34%
PF
24% -21 105.8 106.8 -1.0 29 38
43%
C
1% -47 89.7 130.9 -41.3 4 16
20%

Min represents the percentage of the team's total minutes the player was at that position. W and L are not adjusted in this instance by quality of opponent while at that position in a game.

Player 48-Minute Production by Position
Position
FGA
eFG%
FTA
iFG
Reb
Ast
T/O
Blk
PF
Pts
PER*
PG
SG
SF
23.6 .461 5.9 19% 7.4 3.1 4.1 1.0 4.5 26.4 13.1
PF
28.0 .488 5.8 21% 9.7 3.3 3.8 1.2 4.6 31.4 18.4
C
20.6 .522 9.0 13% 7.2 2.7 3.6 1.8 4.5 28.7 18.1

By pretty much every statistical measure, Beasley was better as an individual player and his teams were better when he played power forward instead of small forward.

Not only does it make sense from the statistical perspective, it is also logical. The NBA is progressing to players of Beasley's size and skill set playing up a position (LeBron, Durant and Melo - not saying Beasley is even close to there level).

With Scola, Gortat, Morris, Warrick and Frye, how do the Suns get the Kansas State product run at the four?

Warrick is easy to eliminate from the conversation.

Gortat will mainly get all of his time at center so that crosses another off the list.

I'll pencil in Frye for 15 minutes a night at center and 15 minutes a night at power forward.

That leaves 33 minutes left for Morris and Scola. You can even throw these two in at center playing a small line-up for stretches and it would still be tough to get Beasley time at PF. One of Gortat, Morris, Frye and Scola would have to be out of the rotation, which I don't see happening.

Could a trade be in the works?

Josh Childress, a wing player, was amnestied to create room for Scola.

Grant Hill isn't a lock to return.

I'll give them one of Shannon Brown, O.J. Mayo or Courtney Lee.

That leaves us with Dragic (can slide up and play 2 if needed), starting shooting guard (one of the above three) and Jared Dudley. That's only three, really two wing players, considering one of them listed is also the starting point guard.

It would make a lot of sense if one of the Suns bigs was flipped for a wing player. Someone who the Suns front office thought was a better value than what they would have to pay on the free agent market.

Some names to target that make sense to me: Gerald Henderson (a potential S&T with Robin Lopez could work, Bobcats did just claim Brendan Haywood off amnesty waivers), Luol Deng, Austin Daye (has never been given a real opportunity with Detroit), Andre Igoudala and Demar Derozan (Raptors spent 19 million on Landry Fields and drafted Terrence Ross - will they want re-sign a third wing player to a mid to big money contract after this season?).

Making a move like this would help balance the roster in the rotation player department and help open time for Beasley to play where he has had the most success.

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