Last week, I wrote an article detailing the rumors surrounding Michael Beasley and the Los Angeles Lakers. With the trade deadline now just two weeks away, we'll take a look at why the Lakers must bring in Beasley if they have any hopes of a deep postseason run.
Last night, Beasley gave the Lakers a preview of what the team would be receiving with a 14-point, six-rebound effort at Staples. More impressively, the Timberwolves forward dazzled the Clippers just a day earlier to the tune of 27 points and five rebounds.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Lakers rejected Minnesota's offer of Beasley for a first-round pick. Granted, the Lakers are already well above the luxury tax threshold of $70 million, and the addition of Beasley only would have made that number grow even larger.
But, luxury tax issues aside, the Timberwolves offer makes sense for the Lakers and spending simply a first-round pick on Beasley would have certainly been worth the team's while.
The Lakers have two picks in the first round of the 2012 draft: their own and the Dallas Mavericks', provided it is the 21st selection or later. This gives the Lakers more reason to pursue a trade, seeing as one of these picks is expendable.
Additionally, Los Angeles has struggled mightily on offense this season; they currently rank 21st in scoring offense. Beasley and his 12.8 points per game would bring immediate assistance to that category.
The Lakers production off the bench in 2012 has been extremely limited, and Beasley would certainly help in that regard as well.
Although Beasley has been criticized for his character and attitude issues in the past, it should not prove to be a deal breaker in acquiring him.
Between Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, the Lakers have plenty of veteran presence that can assist the young 23-year-old in righting the ship.
As they stand right now, the Lakers are not an elite team in the Western Conference. The addition of Michael Beasley alone wouldn't necessarily leapfrog them into that category, but it would go a long ways in helping the team remain competitive through the latter stages of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Currently, Los Angeles doesn't have the depth to hang with a team like the Thunder over the course of a seven-game series. Adding a solid scoring threat off the bench in Beasley would help immensely in combating the issues of depth that have arisen in 2012.
Beasley is versatile enough to play both small forward and power forward, and his presence would undoubtedly take the pressure off guys like Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes.
The bottom line here is that the Timberwolves are willing to deal, and their offer has been made. The desperate need for some bench presence combined with the fact that the Lakers have an extra first-round pick outweigh the issue of further exceeding luxury tax.
Jerry Buss has never been one to be tight with his money before, and now is not the time to start.
If the Lakers hope to make a late postseason run as they have done in the past, adding a guy like Beasley for a relatively cheap price is something that must be done.
The 14-day clock is ticking. It's time for the Lakers to reconsider their rejection of Minnesota's offer before it's too late.