Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/7/13
The risk has outweighed the reward in Michael Beasley’s contract but it would be unlikely for the Suns to get out of his contract based on his recent arrest unless they just eat $9 million. Beasley’s arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession early Tuesday in Scottsdale is not a misstep that could allow the Suns to escape the three-year $18 million contract they gave him last year. Any punishment for his latest police case is far away with charges convictions and appeals potentially dragging it out and subject to the NBA collective-bargaining agreement which puts first-time violators in a marijuana program fines second-time violators and gives a five-game suspension to third-time violators. If the Suns are not able to get out of the contract because of this case or Scottsdale police’s investigation into an allegation of sexual assault the Suns could cut ties with Beasley with a “stretch provision” allowed under the current CBA for a player signed after July 1 2011. Beasley is guaranteed $6 million in salary for the coming season and half of his $6 million salary for 2014-15 is guaranteed. By waiving him under the stretch provision this summer the Suns could take that $9 million of guaranteed salary and pay it over five years and choose whether it counted against the salary cap over two years or five years. If they waited to waive him until after Sept. 1 they would pay him $6 million and stretch the remaining guaranteed $3 million over three years for a lesser cap hit in future years. Beasley was arrested for marijuana possession during the 2011 lockout in Minnesota and has acknowledged past league drug-policy violations that put him in a drug treatment center in 2009. “I realized 10 minutes of feeling good is not really worth putting my life and my career and my legacy in jeopardy” Beasley said at his Suns introductory news conference last summer. “I’m confident to say that that part of my career that part of my life is over and won’t be coming back.” Beasley averaged a career-low 10.1 points per game last season with career-low 40.5 percent shooting from the field.
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