Eric Bledsoe the 23-year-old point guard brimming with star potential won the headlines in the Phoenix Suns’ July trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. But it might be the veteran in the deal 33-year-old forward and by far the club’s elder statesmen Caron Butler who proves most valuable in this important transitional season for a franchise on the skids.

Troubled power forward Michael Beasley is the poster child for everything that’s gone wrong in Phoenix. He was a disgrace on the floor last season his first after the Suns’ former front-office decision-makers gift-wrapped him a three-year $18-million contract and continues to be an embarrassment off it.

Investigated for sexual assault in May Beasley was arrested two weeks ago when officers detected pot after pulling him over for speeding. The franchise has not publicly addressed this latest disappointment. The fact is they have two choices: Wipe their hands of him and eat the remaining $9 million he’s guaranteed or somehow try to help the self-destructive former No. 2 pick just 24 whose career and potentially a life outside of prison is hanging by the threads of a frayed shoelace.

“I think there’s a lot that can be done to help him and I think one is and this is not from the organization or anything but it’s just for the people who are around him and love him most is just don’t give up on him try to help him as much as possible build him up because he’s a star” Butler told during a phone interview from his new home in Phoenix. “He’s a guy that had an unbelievable collegiate career who came into the NBA as a top-two pick so the talent is there it hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s like clay it just needs to be molded right. Somebody needs to be around him talking to him and telling him the right things and building him up and keeping nothing but positive energy around him and moving him forward instead of pulling him back.”

Butler a raging success story born out of an unsavory childhood arrested numerous times before he turned 15 said if Beasley remains with the team and if the 6-foot-10 235-pounder is willing he will stick by the kid’s side mentor him attempt to reach him. At this point save him from himself.