Four years into his NBA career, Michael Beasley is not where he expected to be. After being drafted second overall in 2008 behind former MVP Derrick Rose, Beasley was seen as a can't miss prospect with fantastic offensive skills. Since then, he has encountered trouble with the law, seen his name in constant trade talks and feuded with almost every coach he's had.
After signing a three-year, $18 million contract with the Phoenix Suns in the offseason, many believed Beasley would finally live up to the potential they saw five years ago. With so much talent at their disposal, the Suns offense was expected to lean heavily on Beasley to carry the team.
A successful preseason only added to the hype and expectation. But since the regular season opener, inconsistent play and poor shot selection have Suns fans questioning whether Beasley is really the playmaker they thought he was.
Suns head coach Alvin Gentry spoke with Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo to give his take on Beasley's inconsistency this early in the season.
"He's still on a learning curve. We're asking him to do something no other team he's ever played on has asked him to do," said Gentry. "We have to keep working with him as coaches and player development and try putting him in a situation where he can be successful and I think we've got to keep communicating to him exactly what we want and what our expectations are of him. We didn't anticipate this happening four games into the season. I think we've just got to continue to work with him, show him tape and talk to him to try and get him in the position where he can be successful."
When asked if he believed Beasley could live up to the hype he had surrounding him out of college and be the Suns go to scorer, Gentry said it's too early in the season to tell.
"We don't know that. We won't know that until we exhaust all avenues and we will exhaust all avenues before we come to that conclusion," said Gentry. "The key word for us is going to be patience. We've got to be patient. We will continue to work as a coaching staff to look at all avenues and all angles and everything we possibly can from a personnel standpoint."
Gentry went on to say if the Suns hope to compete in a stacked Western Conference, Beasley needs to become more involved on the court.
"Obviously I think he's a very talented player but I still think if there's some kind of way for us to have a really good year, he's got to be really involved in what we're doing," said Gentry. "I don't know if that's the leading scorer but he has to have a hand in what we're doing from the standpoint of effectiveness and just the overall situation of being a facilitator if we need him to do that."