The Los Angeles Lakers must improve their bench scoring to become an NBA Finals contender again. Acquiring Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley would be a smart move that would help the purple and gold now and in the future.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Lakers have coveted the young forward since before the season started.
The Lakers' front office knows Kobe Bryant is looking for it to improve the roster, and GM Mitch Kupchak has been working the phones. He's spoken to Minnesota about Michael Beasley, and sources say the Lakers are intrigued by the Timberwolves' small forward. The Lakers were actually in discussions with Minnesota about a potential trade for Beasley before the season started.
Broussard also reports:
It's not clear what the Lakers would give Minnesota for Beasley (if indeed the talks get that far), but the Lakers could absorb Beasley into their $8.9 million trade exception while giving up a draft pick or cash.
If the Lakers are able to acquire Beasley for a draft pick or even just a bit more, then it's a move the team must make. Beasley is a versatile player who can play both forward positions, and he is a talented scorer that would excel with talented players like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol around him.
Beasley can also stretch the floor with his good outside shooting, while his athleticism would make the Lakers a better fast break team.
The only issue with Beasley is his immaturity, and according to Broussard, the Lakers think they can provide an environment that the young forward could thrive in.
Minnesota is looking to move Beasley, who they feel has matured very little (if at all) since he's been there, according to sources. The Lakers believe they can handle a player like Beasley because of their winning culture and the leadership of Bryant.
Coming into a locker room with champions like Bryant will certainly keep Beasley focused, and the chance to play meaningful basketball in April and May could certainly motivate Beasley to impress on and off the court.
Going to Los Angeles could be a very beneficial move for Beasley's career, and it's an opportunity he would take advantage of.
Sure, there are risks in acquiring Beasley, but he has a lot of talent and playing with elite players on a contending team could really help him develop into a real star and a true professional.
The Lakers must improve their bench before the March 15 trading deadline. Beasley is one of the better options available to them.
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