Storyline: Michael Beasley Free Agency

39 rumors in this storyline

B/R: LeBron is signed for several years, and the Lakers have this young core. It’s early, but can you envision Los Angeles being a place to settle down? Michael Beasley: I’ve felt like that every year for the last eight years, so I’m going into this situation with the mindset of playing basketball for a year and coming home to Atlanta at the end of the year and whatever happens, happens. I want a long-term contract, two, three, four years, 100 percent. But at this point, I’m tired of getting my hopes up and smashed. But the Lakers organization, from Rob Pelinka to Jeanie Buss to Magic, they’ve treated us like family. So, they did nothing wrong as to why I feel the way I feel. It’s just kinda like a battered-dog situation. I’m gonna take it a day at a time, and hopefully the days don’t end.

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As the Knicks figure out how to fill their stopgap starting power forward position during their expected quiet free agency, Beasley is still in the mix, according to NBA sources, but hardly a given. Knicks brass is doing their due diligence in investigating the rest of the mid-level power forward market as they are expected to wield an $8.6 million exception when free agency begins Sunday. Enes Kanter’s expected decision to opt into his $18.6 million contract will leave the Knicks without cap space but they don’t have a lot of open spots on their 15-man roster anyway.

Even though the Hawks and Suns could outbid the Knicks, an NBA source believes if the Knicks offer Beasley their entire $8.6 million — even on a one-year deal — it may be satisfactory. The Knicks want to refrain from giving out long-term deals that would reduce their cap space in 2019 or 2020. “He definitely wants to come back to New York and play for Fizdale,’’ the source close to Beasley said. “Fizdale is another plus. But it’s still a business.’’

Michael Beasley, who has been one of the pleasant surprise offseason signings, started in place of Porzingis at power forward Thursday and probably for the rest of the season. He finished Thursday with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting with seven rebounds and three steals. He will be a free agent, and the Knicks have their eyes on re-signing him if they can. “That’s not really my mindset,” Beasley said of the new opportunity. “I still haven’t really wrapped my head around KP, man. But it’s an opportunity for everybody to show that we can band together, to show that we can hold the fort down , show that we can be better.”

Beasley, an impending free agent, told The Post he’s tired of moving and hopes his scoring prowess this season will earn him a long-term spot as a Knick. He also said it wouldn’t be appropriate to start fantasizing about playing with the Warriors next season. “He’s a best friend. Why not?’’ Beasley said. “But right now I’m a New York Knick. So me placing myself on another team during the season is not fair to my guys. Let the summer be the summer.

Morey also could bring back Michael Beasley, who appears to be a bargain, and keep his qualifying offer and cap hold to try to keep restricted free agent Donatas Motiejunas, and still have $38 million to spend. Terrence Jones, Josh Smith and Jason Terry will be free agents. Harden, Pat Beverley, Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer, K.J. McDaniels, Beasley and Andrew Goudelock are all under contract with the Rockets, the latter two with team options for next season; Clint Capela, Montrezl Harrell and Sam Dekker are on their rookie deals.

The Rockets might not be ready to rely on that, having tried to fill that position so often before. But of all the power forwards on the roster, only Harrell has a guaranteed contract for next season. The Rockets hope that Beasley shows enough in the remainder of this season to bring him back for another. For now, they are a team paying a franchise-record $95 million in salary and luxury taxes. Their concern is more immediate than to collect options for next season.

Michael Beasley drawing interest

Marc Stein: A clutch of NBA teams, I’m told, are tracking Michael Beasley as he nears a return from China. Last seen in the NBA last season with Miami, Beasley has played his way into contention for a late-season contract back home after a strong season in which he’s established himself a 40-plus percent shooter from 3-point range while leading Shandong to the playoffs for the first time in more than a half-decade with a slew of gaudy numbers.
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October 16, 2018 | 8:46 am EDT Update
Tim Bontemps: If today was July 1, I think Durant would leave. I think it’s most likely he signs with the Knicks, and if not the Knicks I could see he and Kawhi Leonard teaming up with the Clippers. I would be surprised if he was with anyone but the Knicks, Clippers or Warriors next season, though. And I also won’t be surprised if he changes his mind plenty of times between now and when he makes that decision.
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