NBA free agency: Michael Beasley could be more important to Knicks than you think

The Knicks lost former No. 1 overall pick Derrick Rose in free agency to the Cavs this offseason, but New York will add the man who was selected right after him in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Michael Beasley has agreed to a one-year contract with the Knicks, as first reported by Basketball Insider’s Michael Scotto. It’s somewhat surprising considering there was reportedly a more lucrative offer on the table from the Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association, a team for which Beasley played during a portion of the 2015-16 season before signing with the Rockets.

However, the Suns are, according ESPN 1500’s Dana Wolfson (H/T NBC Sports), interested in shipping Eric Bledsoe, second-year center Dragan Bender and a draft pick to Cleveland.

Bledsoe would be an obvious downgrade at point guard. The 28-year-old’s career averages (13.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds) pale in comparison to those of Irving (21.6, ppg, 5.6 apg,), a four-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year.

However, Bledsoe is coming off his best campaign in seven seasons in the league. In 2016-17, he went for 21.1 points and 6.3 assists, both career highs, while playing alongside burgeoning star shooting guard Devin Booker (22.1 ppg). Bledsoe, who shares an agent in Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul with LeBron James, posted a 20.6 player efficiency rating last season, easily the best on the Suns.

The 7-1 Bender was disappointing during his first season in the NBA, playing just 13.3 minutes per game and shooting an abysmal 35.4 percent from the field. However, at 19 years old, he’s a project Cleveland might want to take on, especially if the Heat’s 2018 first-round pick is included in the deal as rumored.

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