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SHAMS: NETS ‘MOVING’ TOWARD DEAL WITH MICHAEL BEASLEY

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Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In yet another move to sign a veteran player —who like Jamal Crawford— hasn’t played this season, the Nets are “moving toward” a deal that would bring power forward Michael Beasley to Brooklyn, err, Orlando.

Again, it was Shams Charania who broke the news...

Indeed, Beasley, 31, and Durant both grew up Prince Georges County, Maryland, whose basketball success was recently chronicled in a documentary KD produced. They were also the No. 2 picks in the NBA Draft one year apart.

The Nets would sign Beasley as a substitute player. After the Nets were devastated by the losses of three players to positive coronavirus tests —and a fourth to family health concerns, they have four openings to fill. Justin Anderson reportedly agreed to a deal last week but has not signed officially. Crawford and now Beasley would fill two of the other slots. That leaves one slot open. Presumably, it will go to a big man.

Beasley, however, may not be able to play in the first five of the eight “seeding” games that start in three weeks, Bobby Marks reports...

Beasley, along with Crawford and Anderson, would be paid under the vets minimum exception and become unrestricted free agents in October.

Unlike Crawford, Beasley has had a star-crossed career, playing for seven teams in the NBA —Miami three times— as well as two teams in China. He has been fined or suspended by the NBA three times for issues related to marijuana. He has also been ticketed by police in Minnesota and Arizona for marijuana possession. (There will be no tests for recreational drugs in the “bubble.”

There’s no doubt Beasley is talented, with career averages of 12.4 points, 4.7 points and a 47/35/76 shooting split. Two seasons back, playing in New York, Beasley averaged 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting just under 40 percent from beyond the arc. He started only 30 of the 74 games he played for the Knicks who finished that season with 29 wins.

Beasley last played in the NBA in 2018-19 when he spend time with the Lakers. He played 26 games and averaged 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds, taking time off early in the season to care for his mother who died of cancer in December 2018. At the deadline in 2019, he was traded to the Clippers who immediately waived him.

The 6’9” Beasley has been working out this summer in Miami with trainer Ronnie Taylor and looks to be in good shape.

The dual moves —plus whatever else the Nets are planning— indicate the Brooklyn front office believes that despite everything, they can still do some damage in Orlando. While Orlando who’s a half-game behind Brooklyn is healthy, the Wizards, who are six games back, have lost both Davis Bertans and Bradley Beal. Both opted out with injury concerns.

In a series of short term series, having two guys like Crawford and Beasley is an advantage. Both can put up points quickly and are rested. Think AAU at a higher level.