This summer, Michael Beasley has been in LA working out with 2014 MVP Kevin Durant. According to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, multiple teams are thrilled with the maturity and resolve Beasley showed as the 11th man on the runner-up Heat last season.
Currently, there are only 12 players on the Lakers’ squad, so I do expect Mitch Kupchak to be looking to fill out the roster a bit more. Unfortunately, the Lakers are now over the cap and have used the remaining balance of their Room Exception on Xavier Henry and Ryan Kelly.
The Lakers would have to convince Beasley to take another veteran’s minimum salary deal for the second year in a row. I understand players making that sacrifice to ride the bench for a potential championship squad, but to be a bench player on a perennial playoff team? I’m not sure Beasley is quite up to that.
At this point in the off-season, the Lakers are still severely lacking on the wing. Beasley could find a spot for himself on a weak part of the roster. But with Nick Young, Kobe Bryant and Henry on the wings – and Byron Scott taking over as coach – the Lakers may be looking more for defensive help than a high-usage scorer.
Over the past four years, Beasley’s minutes have declined from 32 to 23 to 20 to 15. However, his usage rate continues to hover around 25%, showing his affinity for keeping the ball in his hands when he does get on the court.
Last season, Beasley played a career-low 15.1 MPG and average a career-low 7.9 PPG. That doesn’t mean the ability is gone, but Beasley is running out of chances to prove he cares enough to put in the work to be a starter in the NBA. He is only 25, and like Swaggy P last year, Mike could have a chance to prove that he deserves an important role on an NBA team.
The Lakers have been tied to Beasley for a while now. Back in the 2011-2012 season, the purple and gold were rumored to be interested in Beasley at the trade deadline in a deal that would have involved Derek Fisher. However, the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled out at the last minute after the deal was nixed by owner Glen Taylor.