Michael Beasley

It is out with the old (Grant Hill turned 40 on Friday) and in with the new (Beasley is 23) for the Suns at small forward, where Beasley is expected to take the starting role Hill held for the past five seasons. Beasley is learning two positions because of his size (6 feet 10, 235 pounds) and athleticism at power forward.

That transition has been smooth on offense, but his attention and focus, two areas he has lacked as a pro, have been on defense.

“This is the first year I really applied 100 percent to the defensive side,” Beasley said. “I’m not really worried about the offense. Offense, I’m just trying to learn the plays. Defense, I’m just trying to be aggressive, trying to kind of guard two people at one time, trying to learn both positions and trying to stay on the glass as much as I can.”

In between two-a-day sessions during training camp at the University of California-San Diego, Beasley said he has been watching video of his defense.

– Reported by Paul Coro of theĀ Arizona Republic