The Phoenix Suns and forward Michael Beasley have reached an agreement to terminate his contract after Beasley was arrested last month in suburban Scottsdale, Ariz. on charges of felony marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
“The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix,” Lou Babby, Suns president for basketball operations, said in a statement released by the team. “However, it is essential that we demand the highest standards of personal and professional conduct as we develop a championship culture.”
According to NBA.com, the move will “cost the franchise $7 million, a $2 million savings from what Beasley would have been due had he simply been waived. It also represents a significant reduction in what the hit on the team's salary cap would have been.”
At a news conference last year to announce his signing of a three-year, $18 million contract with Phoenix, Beasley said that his marijuana days were over.
“I realize 10 minutes of feeling good is not really worth putting my life and my career and my legacy in jeopardy,” Beasley said. “So I’m confident to say that that part of my career, that part of my life, is over and won't be coming back.”
Since being selected second overall out of Kansas State by the Miami Heat in the 2008 NBA draft, Beasley has been noticed more for his actions off the court than on it.
At the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program in 2008, Beasley and two other NBA players set off a fire alarm at 2 a.m. with the smells of marijuana.
In June 2011, Beasley was pulled over for speeding in Minneapolis. The officer who stopped Beasley noticed that the car smelled like marijuana and allegedly found marijuana in a plastic bag under the front passenger seat. Although Beasley denied it was his, he was ticketed and fined.
In a streetball game in 2011, Beasley was involved in an altercation with a fan who heckled him.