The New York Knicks have not even kicked off the regular season and already Michael Beasley has made enough headlines to last a lifetime. He knows how to cater to an audience, though.
Beasley has bounced around the league since becoming the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He spent last season with the Milwaukee Bucks, playing in various roles over the course of 16.7 minutes per night.
He is making sure he won’t get lost in the shuffle in the Big Apple.
“As far as talent-wise, I match up with Kevin [Durant], LeBron [James]; I match up with the best guys in the world," Beasley told Bleacher Report. “I'm not being cocky; it's just always how I felt. But I got into trouble as soon as I got into the NBA, and it left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths."
Beasley is right, as the perception of him has never been stellar. On a young team, however, he will get the opportunity to make a name for himself. With the Bucks, he was never going to overshadow Giannis Antetokounmpo or Jabari Parker. Even Malcolm Brogdon emerged as a big player in Milwaukee, winning Rookie of the Year honors.
By trading Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks have signaled that they are a team in flux. This is Beasley’s opportunity to prove that he can be a reliable starter in the league.
Beasley should emerge as one of the first men off of Jeff Hornacek’s bench. The team will likely start Ramon Sessions, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, and either Wily Hernangomez or the newly-acquired Enes Kanter. A smaller lineup–one where Porzingis plays center–could create a starting spot for Beasley.
At the very least, Beasley will provide the Knicks with some entertainment this season. It remains to be seen whether it will take place on the court.
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