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Phoenix Suns

Lon Babby: We took Michael Beasley on as 'long-term project'

Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley (0) drives past Sacramento Kings forward James Johnson (52) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Phoenix. The Suns won 101-90. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Michael Beasley has gone through quite a transition during his first two months in a Phoenix Suns uniform.

From the projected go-to guy to a work in a progress to a reserve, Beasley hasn't adjusted quite so easily to his latest change of scenery. With the Suns, Beasley is averaging career lows in points per game (10.9), rebounds per game (3.8) and field goal percentage (37.3).

President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby was one of the men responsible for signing the former No. 2 overall pick to a three-year deal worth $18 million over the summer. While he didn't necessarily retract the lofty goals the organization seemed to have for Beasley going into the season, Babby spoke Wednesday about Phoenix's enigmatic small forward with cautious tones.

"We all knew the challenges," Babby told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf regarding the signing of Beasley. "Michael knew the challenges. There's not going to be any pressure or disconnect from us.

"Alvin Gentry's job is to win games every day, and we understand that and we need to give him the freedom to do that. Our job [in the front office] is to evaluate things in the long-term."

In the short-term it's safe to say that Beasley -- who has spent the last six games coming off the pine -- hasn't delivered the type of instant gains the front office likely imagined. With that said, Babby insists that now is not the time for anyone -- not fans, coaches or management -- to overreact.

"I understand the need for immediate gratification, and we all wish he were playing more," said Babby. "But when we took this on, we took this on as a long-term project. He's under contract for three years, and I want to access this over a period of time.

"The issues that we are working with him, on the court and off the court, whatever they may be, they are not going to get resolved in 20 games. And, we understood that."

Heading into Saturday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Beasley isn't even ranked in the top three on the Suns in any major statistical category outside of blocks per game.

Since his demotion to the bench, Beasley is averaging 8.8 points per game on 39.1 percent shooting from the field.


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