Michael Beasley, former No. 2 overall pick, is set to become a free agent by the end of the week, according to ESPN.
The Phoenix Suns are planning to release Beasley in the wake of his recent arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession, sources told ESPN.com, and are likely to officially make the move this week.
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.
Beasley is coming off averaging a career-low 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game with the Phoenix Suns last season. Before that, Beasley played two seasons with the Miami Heat (who drafted him) and two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. During the 2012 offseason, the five-year pro signed a three-year deal with the Suns worth $18 million.