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Former New York Knicks’ Forward Shawne Williams Signs with Miami Heat

August 24th, 2014 at 1:12 PM
By Matt Agne

The Miami Heat gave Michael Beasley a second chance last offseason. They signed the former number two selection to a veteran’s minimum contract. However, it appears Pat Riley and the Heat are done with Beasley. While there's still a chance Miami re-signs him, all signs point towards Beasley playing elsewhere next season. They even gave his jersey number away to newly signed former New York Knicks' forward Shawne Williams.

When the New York Knicks signed troubled forward Shawne Williams most didn't know if he could even make the roster. He did. In fact, he was an impact player for the Knicks because of his defensive diversity and his ability to knock down three-point shots.

Williams used that success to land a sizable contract with the New Jersey Nets. He then played basketball overseas, with the Los Angeles Lakers and will now suit up for the Heat.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, he's a small forward who could have been a nice fit both on the court and salary-wise with the Knicks playing behind Carmelo Anthony. He's now off the free agent market.

Two, Beasley is also a possible backup for Anthony and remains on the free agent market. This signing makes it that much more likely that his time in South Beach is over.

Third, the last time Beasley and the Heat parted ways the team left the door open to a return by keeping his number vacant for a while. This time they gave his number away before he even found another job.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports how re-signing Beasley seems unlikely for Miami.

The last time the Miami Heat gave away Michael Beasley’s number they at least waited a year before issuing No. 30 to Norris Cole.

This time, the transaction took place within a matter of weeks, with Beasley’s No. 8 already assigned to newcomer Shawne Williams for the coming season, even with Beasley still in limbo, as an unsigned free agent.

While the Heat still are eligible to retain Beasley, the numerology speaks otherwise.

Why does this matter? Beasley is probably the single most talented free agent still on the market. Many don't want anything to do with his enigmatic personality. However, displayed much more maturity last season. This is not the same Beasley that left Miami after his first stint with the franchise.

Beasley couldn't remain in Miami’s rotation for the entire season, mainly because of his short comings on the defensive end. That's the one area Williams is better than Beasley. After signing Williams this off-season, Miami doesn’t have a need for Beasley.

Beasley is too talented offensively not to find a job. He'll be on someone's roster this upcoming season. Just because he won't be on Miami's doesn't mean the Knicks shouldn't take a chance on him.

With the acquisition of Travis Outlaw and the fact that the Knicks have Cleanthony Early on their roster, it would be understandable if Phil Jackson didn't want to guarantee Beasley a contract. Clearly the roster is full and the team's financially maxed out.

However, if the Knicks are entering training camp and Beasley is still without a job it couldn't hurt to invite him in. It would be a direct competition between Outlaw and Beasley for a roster spot and the best player would land the job. The Knicks would have nothing to lose and only talent to gain.

Beasley man not be everything many thought he'd be when he was selected second overall but he's got talent to burn. They guy is tall, has a good handle and jump shot and can flat out score. If New York can bring him in for the veteran's minimum it's something they should seriously consider.

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Tags: Basketball, Cleanthony Early, Miami Heat, Michael Beasley, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Shawne Williams, Travis Outlaw

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