Michael Beasley is back with the Miami Heat.
The Heat announced Wednesday that they signed Beasley, bringing him back to the team that selected him with the second pick of the 2008 NBA Draft and traded him away two years later to clear salary cap space ahead of the signing of its Big Three of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh.
"Michael had the best years of his career with us," Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement released by the Heat. "We feel that he can help us."
Beasley had to make a hard sell in order for the Heat grant him a contract offer. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the team initially had no interest in bringing Beasley back, then was swayed after he offered to accept a nonguaranteed contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither side had released specific details of the talks.
Beasley has been mostly a disappointment since he joined the league in 2008. His player efficiency rating, an advanced statistic that measure's a player's entire impact on his team's performance, has declined ever year of his career, from 17.2 his rookie season to 10.8 in 2012-13 (a PER of 15.0 is league average).
He was one of the hottest prospects coming out of Kansas State after his freshman year in 2008. Beasley was the third-leading scorer in the nation (26.2 points per game) and leading the Wildcats to the second round of the NCAA tournament (it was the school's first berth in the tourney since 1996, and first tournament win since 1988).
In his two seasons with the Heat, Beasley appeared in 159 games, starting 78 in his second season. He averaged 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 46% from the field.
But Beasley's career took a turn for the worse after being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He lost his starting job in the 2011-12 season, and has seen his usage decline from 32 minutes per game in his first season with Minnesota to 21 minutes per game last season.
The Phoenix Suns released Beasley this summer following his arrest in Arizona on charges of felony marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. He signed with the Suns as a free agent in 2012 after spending two seasons with the Timberwolves.
This was the latest in a series of missteps for Beasley. In 2011 he was cited and fined when a police officer who had pulled him over for speeding found marijuana in his car. Two years earlier he came under fire for posting a photo of himself on Twitter with what appeared to be a bag of marijuana on a coffee table in the background.
Beasley is not guaranteed a roster spot on the Heat, who already have significant depth. This is a low-risk signing that will cost the Heat nothing if they decide to part ways with Beasley before the season starts.