July 4, 2016, 7:42 am
The Houston Rockets are a team in flux. Their additions of Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon will do well to juice the offense but will likely preclude the team from bringing back power forwards Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones. One player who will be part of the team going forward is Michael Beasley, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen.
Beasley joined the Rockets in March of last year after picking up the CBA’s Foreign MVP award as a member of the Shandong Golden Stars. While he was first thought to be bench filler, Beasley emerged as a valuable part of Houston’s rotation in their fight for the eight seed. In 20 games, the former 2nd overall pick averaged 12.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per night.
Those are fine numbers in and of themselves, but Beasley’s importance to the team comes through when we look at his production on a per-36 minute basis: 25.3 points and 9.7 rebounds. Some of that output is a result of his unsustainably high .522 shooting percentage (his previous career high was .499 in 2013) but it’s clear that he can fill it up on any given night.
As a cheap bench option for a Rockets team that’s running out of space, Beasley was a pretty safe bet to remain on the roster past his contract guarantee deadline of August 1st. Now that the team has confirmed as much, they’ll have to find a way to fill the last handful of roster spots, ideally with some strong defenders.