Suns release Michael Beasley

Updated: September 3, 2013, 6:40 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Michael Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft, was released by the Phoenix Suns in the wake of his recent arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession.

"The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley's success in Phoenix," Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said in a statement. "However, it is essential that we demand the highest standards of personal and professional conduct as we develop a championship culture. Today's action reflects our commitment to those standards."

After clearing waivers, Beasley will become a free agent after averaging a career-low 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds on 40.5 percent shooting in his lone season with Phoenix. He played two seasons each with Miami and Minnesota before signing a three-year deal with Phoenix worth $18 million in the summer of 2012.

The Suns' recent trade of Caron Butler to Milwaukee created nearly $6 million in salary-cap space that they can use to soften the financial hit stemming from Beasley's departure.

By waiting until after Sept. 1 to waive Beasley, Phoenix can pay out the $6 million owed to the 24-year-old forward in 2013-14 on the NBA's standard pay schedule and then stretch the remaining $3 million guaranteed on Beasley's deal in 2014-15 over multiple seasons.

New Suns general manager Ryan McDonough was said to be eager to move Beasley out as part of the ongoing reboot in Phoenix in the wake of last season's 25-57 mark, followed by the offseason ouster of previous GM Lance Blanks.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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