Phoenix, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – The Phoenix Suns released Michael Beasley after a third transgression since he joined the team last summer.
He was arrested Aug.6 on suspicion and eventual discovery of marijuana in his possession.
Beasley was previously under Scottsdale police’s investigation for a sexual assault accusation. Two weeks later, he was cited for speeding, driving on a suspended license and driving without a license plate or registration.
“The most recent legal issue intervened and that was the end of it,” said Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby.
Beasley had been in a rehabilitation center in 2009 and arrested for marijuana possession in 2011.
Babby said that while they were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success with the team, they have to maintain professional and personal standards to build a championship culture.”
“Today’s action reflects our commitment to those standards,” said Babby.
New Suns general manager Ryan McDonough was also said to be eager to move Beasley out as part of a reboot following last season’s dismal 25-57 mark.
The Suns made Beasley, 24, their free agency priority in July of 2012, flying a contingent to Los Angeles to meet with him on the first day of free agency. He signed a three-year deal with the Suns worth $18 million in the summer of 2012.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Beasley averaged a career-low 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds on 40.5 percent shooting in his lone season with Phoenix. He previously played two seasons each with Miami and Minnesota.
Faced with owing him $9 million of guaranteed contract, the Suns opted for a buyout Tuesday that saves the club $2 million in salary and even more in cap hits for the next two years.
Babby negotiated to reduce Beasley’s salary for this season from $6 milliion to $4.67 million and next season’s guaranteed $3 million of a $6 million salary to $2.33 million.
Using the waive-and-spread provision of the collective bargaining agreement, the Suns will spread that $2.33 million in payment and cap hits over the years to $778,000 annually.