The Los Angeles Lakers are apparently still looking for talent to fill out their roster.
Per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com: "The Los Angeles Lakers are considering signing free-agent forward Michael Beasley and brought in the six-year veteran for a workout at their El Segundo, California, practice facility Wednesday, according to multiple sources."
Per McMenamin, who was quoting a source: "[Beasley] looked very good and he has been working out. A tiny rust from layoff, but [he] did a good job."
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Beasley looked strong in the limited opportunities he received for the Miami Heat last season.
The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft averaged 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in just 15.1 minutes of action per game in 55 appearances. He also shot 50 percent from the field.
In the NBA playoffs, Beasley saw little action. The 25-year-old has struggled with off-the-court issues in his career, but he seems to be in the right head space to make the most of his talent and opportunities.
Beasley is only three seasons removed from a campaign that saw him average 19.2 points per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. There's a boatload of talent still there to be used, and the Lakers would be a great landing spot for him.
With veterans like Kobe Bryant and Carlos Boozer, Beasley would be surrounded with positive influences. Beyond that, he would get an opportunity to play regularly.
As a matter of fact, if Beasley could surprise and produce the way he has in the past, supplanting Nick Young as the starting small forward wouldn't be out of the question. Swaggy P is a proven scorer, but his skill set is probably best suited in a sixth-man role.
Strong and consistent play from Beasley could help facilitate that. A starting five of Jeremy Lin, Bryant, Beasley, Boozer and Jordan Hill isn't too shabby. If the team has Young, Wesley Johnson and Julius Randle coming off the bench, scoring shouldn't be a problem.
Defense is another story.
Byron Scott is Finally the Man and Assembling His Coaching Staff
The long, drawn-out process of naming a head coach is over. Byron Scott is officially the man tasked with leading the Lakers next season.
He received the blessings of several Lakers greats and former teammates upon being officially named the next head coach:
Magic, Kareem and Wilkes all here to support Byron Scott. Big difference from last two hires. pic.twitter.com/gXCXLhYMaf— Daniel Buerge (@danielbuergeLA) July 29, 2014
Scott has quickly gone about the business of assembling his coaching staff. Former Laker Robert Horry is among the familiar names Scott and the team have reached out to, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
Byron Scott's staff taking shape soon. Possibilities: Paul Pressey, Mark Madsen and...Robert Horry. Lakers recently contacted Horry about it— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 29, 2014
Big Shot Bob would certainly bring a winner's mentality to the bench. He won seven championships in his 16-year NBA career. It's early, but Scott seems to be off to a strong start for his new/old team.
Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters spoke to Scott after the announcement:
It seemed most believed Scott would eventually be the guy, but after weeks of uncertainty, doubt and rumors crept in. There was even talk that perhaps the Lakers were waiting to try to snatch a potentially disgruntled Doc Rivers away from the rival Los Angeles Clippers.
Love or hate the Scott hiring, it's still good for the organization to finally have this decision made so the team can go about the business of rebuilding.
Gasol Hurt by Team's Treatment and Usage of Him Last Season
Per Winters, Magic said:
Yesterday, Magic said he had a long conversation w/ Pau Gasol before he ultimately made his decision to continue career in Chicago— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 30, 2014
Magic: "He (Pau) was really hurt by the way he was treated." Specifically how he was mis-used last year, "He could never get over that."— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 30, 2014
Despite playing a major role in two championship runs, Gasol's name was dragged through trade rumors for the last three seasons. The team even agreed to a deal to send him to the Houston Rockets in 2011 in a three-team trade that would have landed the Lakers Chris Paul.
David Stern vetoed that deal, which hurt the Lakers in more ways than one. They didn't get Paul, arguably the best point guard in the NBA, and it forced the Lakers to co-exist with a star player it had previously tried to ship out of town.
This offseason, Gasol decided on the Windy City. He signed a three-year, $22 million deal to join the Chicago Bulls. With Gasol, the Bulls are arguably the favorites to reach the NBA Finals from the Eastern Conference.
The Lakers are likely headed for a season that will see them scratch and claw to stay above .500. Without question, the team could have benefited from Gasol's presence. Despite the Lakers' push to re-sign him, Gasol said "instinct" told him to join the Bulls.
Can you blame him?
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