The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in signing free-agent small forward Michael Beasley, but that is a bad idea, and the franchise must look elsewhere to bolster its roster.
In a report from Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, Los Angeles has already worked Beasley out and is considering a possible deal:
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.
"[Beasley] looked very good and he has been working out," one source said. "A tiny rust from layoff, but [he] did a good job."
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, there has been little movement since the workout, but Beasley is reportedly looking for certain requirements before signing a contract:
The Lakers made several big moves this offseason. After letting Pau Gasol leave via free agency, the team added former Chicago Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer to replace the departed veteran. Los Angeles also made a trade this offseason to acquire point guard Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets.
The team made a splash in free agency with Boozer, but the Lakers also made several smart moves this offseason when it came to the NBA draft and re-signing their own players. After ensuring forwards Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Ryan Kelly had contract extensions heading into 2014-15, Los Angeles utilized the draft to add even more depth and talent.
With first-round pick Julius Randle bolstering the power forward position and second-round pick Jordan Clarkson adding depth at point guard, the fit for Beasley on the Lakers isn’t as perfect as it once was.
Beasley likely wants more playing time than he had in Miami last season (15.1 minutes per game), but he will have a hard time finding that with Los Angeles. While Beasley’s versatility allows him to play both forward positions, the depth at forward will limit his productivity.
After only managing 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, the Lakers aren’t going to want to tie up guaranteed money on a player who could offer little to the team if his effort level isn’t up to par for the organization. Beasley will be forced to come off the bench and play sporadic minutes. If he isn’t 100 percent focused on the task at hand, this will be a wasted signing.
There is no denying the talent Beasley has shown (averaged 19.2 points and 6.6 rebounds with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010-11), but he was never able to replicate that success again, and his numbers have declined steadily.
Instead of investing money in Beasley, Los Angeles should be looking to add depth at center behind Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre. The lack of talent at the position is the Lakers' biggest issue and should be addressed before considering a deal with any free agent.
*Stats via NBA.com.