Carmelo Anthony’s saga with the Knicks continues, but the needle moved a bit Tuesday when the team announced it had signed a one-year deal with free-agent forward Michael Beasley.
Are the Knicks turning to a player with a troubled past as insurance for someone who may not have a future with them?
The Knicks have said they will not buy out the $54 million remaining on Anthony’s contract. Anthony reportedly would accept a trade to the Rockets but negotiations between the teams appear stalled.
While any deal involving Anthony likely would include a forward in return, Beasley, 28, a former No. 2 pick out of Kansas State by the Heat, is a proven scorer who will earn the league’s minimum salary for a veteran.
Playing a reserve role for the Bucks last season, the 6-9 Beasley averaged 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds. His career average is 12.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 509 games over nine seasons with the Heat, Timberwolves, Suns, Rockets and Bucks.
Beasley’s off-court issues started before he played his first game when he was reportedly expelled from the 2008 Rookie Transition Program. He was fined $50,000 by the NBA for his involvement with Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur over inviting women to their room and hotel workers reporting marijuana odor.
In 2009, ESPN reported that Beasley had entered the NBA’s drug treatment program. In 2011, while playing for the Timberwolves, Beasley was charged with marijuana possession. In 2013, Beasley was a member of the Suns when he was arrested for alleged possession of marijuana.
The signing of Beasley comes less than three weeks after new Knicks general manager Scott Perry stressed the importance of character in building a roster. “I think that’s definitely an important quality when you’re talking about building a sustainable franchise that can be successful in winning, character plays a big part of it,’’ Perry said.