The Minnesota Timberwolves can afford to part with Michael Beasley. He's a good player, but the presence of talented rookie Derrick Williams makes Beasley expendable—especially seeing how the Wolves could easily get something good in return for Beasley.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been rumored to be interested in Beasley on a couple different occasions, but Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press was able to confirm on Wednesday that the Lakers have indeed "expressed interest" in Beasley.
Better yet, Walters was even able to clear up what the terms of a trade might be:
Whether the Lakers have made an offer for Beasley is unclear, but the Wolves aren't especially interested in acquiring more bodies. A first-round draft pick might be a reasonable trade.
If so, the Lakers could acquire Beasley without having to give up Pau Gasol. And if that's true, it seems the FoxSports.com report that had the Wolves interested in acquiring Gasol is bogus after all.
Par for the course when it comes to trade rumors.
Acquiring Beasley without giving up Gasol would work out just fine for the Lakers. Their small forward options leave a lot to be desired. If they were to trade for Beasley, the Lakers could start him right away and never look back.
Imagine a frontcourt of Beasley, Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Not bad at all.
I'm not convinced the Lakers would be a drastically-improved team, though. On the contrary, I think they would be about the same.
I just don't see what kind of role Beasley would play in the Lakers' offense. He's a pretty good offensive player, but he would be the Lakers' fourth-best option behind Kobe Bryant, Bynum and Gasol. He'd likely get a few opportunities to create his own shot every game, but I can't imagine him as being anything more than a perimeter threat on the Lakers.
So he'd be better than what they currently have, sure, but it's not like Beasley would be a huge difference-maker who will ensure a deep postseason run.
I've maintained that the best move the Lakers could make would be for a point guard, and to that I hold. While adding a small forward couldn't hurt, adding a point guard would actually make a difference. The Lakers are a good team now. If they add a point guard who can distribute the rock and actually make a few buckets, they'll be a dangerous team.
If they add a small forward, Beasley or anyone else, they'll go from being a good team to being, well, a good team.
If the Lakers can get Beasley without giving up Gasol, I say they might as well roll the dice. But if they get him, it won't be championship or bust.
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