Tracy McGrady claims Michael Beasley is too good for NBA: ‘He could average 25 in this league’'
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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady believes former Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley is “too good” for the NBA and that teams didn’t know “what to do with that.”


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“I don’t know why Michael Beasley is not in the NBA, but what I would say is, I think Michael Beasley is too good, as crazy as that sounds,” McGrady said. “And what I mean by that, Michael Beasley can hoop. Inside, outside, this dude has game. And whatever team I think he’s on, he could be the best player – best scorer. Given the opportunity, he could average 25 in this league, no doubt about it.

“I used to have pickup games at my house, and Michael Beasley came there. I didn’t wanna show it then, but I was in awe. And I know talent. I know NBA talent. I know – nah man, they’re not doing dude right. He should be in the league for real. Dude got elite game, and it’s a shame that he wasn’t viewed that way and couldn’t sustain a long career – consistent career – of being on a team because he is that gifted.”

The Heat took Beasley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Kansas State University. He spent his first two seasons in Miami and bounced around to several teams in his NBA career, returning to Miami for another two seasons in the 2013-14 campaign.

Unfortunately for Beasley, he was traded by Miami to the Minnesota Timberwolves ahead of the 2010-11 season – the first season that LeBron James was in Miami.

Beasley ended up thriving in his first year in Minnesota, averaging 19.2 points per game (a career-high), but he never sustained that level in the NBA.

It seems like McGrady believes that Beasley never got a fair shot to lead a team, and it may be because he bounced around so much in his NBA career.

Across 11 seasons, Beasley played for the Heat, Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He has not played in an NBA game since the 2018-19 season.

While he may not have lived up to the expectations as the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, Beasley still averaged 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in his NBA career while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from 3-point range.

In his last NBA season, Beasley was with the Lakers. The former All-Rookie selection appeared in 26 games for Los Angeles that season, making two starts. He averaged 7.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game while shooting 49.0 percent from the field.

Still, he never reached the heights that McGrady believes he could have (25 points per game) while he was in the league. Now, at 35 years old, Beasley likely won’t get another shot in the NBA.

It’s interesting to hear McGrady’s perspective on Beasley’s talent, but fans will only be able to wonder about what could have been had he been given the keys to a franchise.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.