NBA Trade Rumors: Do the Lakers Really Want Michael Beasley?

Joshua MoeschlCorrespondent IIIFebruary 22, 2012

Beasley Would Fit in Nicely in Los Angeles
Beasley Would Fit in Nicely in Los AngelesMarc Serota/Getty Images

Since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2008, Michael Beasley has widely been considered a bust. Taken by the Miami Heat, Beasley had problems right away. Everything from marijuana-related incidents to flat-out poor play.

So poor that after only two seasons, the Heat dealt Beasley to Minnesota. 

We are now hearing from multiple outlets that the Lakers are interested in dealing for the 6'9" forward. The Lakers have been surrounded by trade rumors of late, mostly involving All-Star center Pau Gasol. Interestingly, the Lakers seem to be talking to the Timberwolves more than any other team. 

For the Wolves, getting rid of Beasley makes a lot of sense. He is not playing very well in Rick Adelman's offense and seems intent on pouting after any negative play on his part. Adelman has severely limited Beasley's minutes in the last couple of weeks, which either hinders or helps his trade value, depending on how you look at it. 

The Wolves are a running team, and Beasley is a Carmelo-like scorer—meaning he slows down ball movement. He needs the ball in his hands to go one-on-one with his defender to either shoot or drive. He rarely looks to score in the general flow of the offense, and when he does make an offensive play, it looks forced.

He looks out of place, and sometimes even lost, in the Wolves' offense. 

The Lakers, however, play an offensive style that complements Beasley's game. The triangle offense, whatever form is left in Los Angeles since the Zen Master went back to Montana, is a half-court offense. It relies heavily on one-on-one playmakers and offensive rebounding. Beasley is a great rebounding forward when he wants to be, and is athletic enough to make some of those boards offensive.

The question for the Lakers is the same question the Heat and Wolves have already asked: Will Beasley ever live up to his potential? This is a guy who holds 17 Big 12 single-game and single-season records after only playing his freshman season. The potential has never been in question.

When he was traded to Minnesota, people thought that a small market team with few distractions would enable him to focus on basketball. That has not happened. Beasley will score 30 one night, and wait three weeks to have another similar performance. 

If the Lakers think they can get this kid to play up to his potential, then the trade makes a ton of sense. With plenty of veterans on the roster to keep Beasley in line and guide him, Los Angeles might finally be the right place for him.

Another thing to keep in mind...Beasley is only 23 years old.