MIAMI (AP) — Michael Beasley's NBA career got started in Miami, and now the Heat are hoping it can be revived in Miami.
The troubled forward is back with the Heat, signing a contract on Wednesday that will give him another chance to prove he belongs in the NBA. He was bought out earlier this month by the Phoenix Suns, not long after the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft was arrested in Arizona on charges of felony marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
"Michael had the best years of his career with us," Heat President Pat Riley said. "We feel that he can help us."
Yahoo Sports reported on Saturday that the Heat were interested in bringing Beasley back, and the team quickly and emphatically denied that a reunion was in the cards. Four days later, the deal was done, and Beasley will be in training camp with the two-time defending NBA champions on Oct. 1.
It took some doing on Beasley's side to make the Heat offer become reality. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the team initially had no interest in bringing Beasley back, then was swayed after the former Kansas State star offered to accept a nonguaranteed contract.
That's what it took for the Heat to "give him a shot," said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither side had released specific details of the talks.
Beasley was traded by Miami to Minnesota in July 2010, part of the sweeping moves that allowed the Heat the financial flexibility to re-sign Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem, plus land Chris Bosh and LeBron James.
So there is a certain irony in that, as the NBA heads into what's expected to be another wild free-agent summer in 2014 — with James, Wade and Bosh among those who could be choosing new homes — Beasley is back in Miami and tasked with helping the Heat win a third straight title.
"We felt Michael had two very good years in Miami," Riley said when the Heat traded Beasley to Minnesota for draft picks. "We feel he will have a very productive career."