NBA Rumors: LeBron James Wanted Cavs to Trade for Michael Beasley Last Season

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 27:  Michael Beasley #8 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat joke around during a break in the action against the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Quicken Loans Arena on November 27, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

LeBron James reportedly urged the Cleveland Cavaliers to acquire Michael Beasley from the New York Knicks before the 2018 NBA trade deadline.

On Thursday, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reported James "developed an appreciation for Beasley's advanced offensive skills" during their time together with the Miami Heat during the 2013-14 season and wanted him to help bolster the Cavs roster last season.

They are now teammates once again and will make their Los Angeles Lakers' debuts Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

During a strong 2017-18 season with the Knicks, Beasley averaged 13.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 50.7 percent from the field, including 39.5 percent from three-point range. He ranked seventh among small forwards in player efficiency rating, per ESPN.com.

Last month, James said the 29-year-old Kansas State product is an ideal fit for the Lakers' effort to become a "positionless team."

"There's going to be times where we are all playing different positions. That's going to be the benefit of our ballclub," he told reporters. "[Kyle Kuzma] at the 3-4-5, [Brandon Ingram] at the 1 through 5, myself at the 1 through 5. [Beasley] can play 2 through 5. We have a lot of guys that can play multiple positions."

Los Angeles doesn't feature an ideal choice to fill the prototypical center role, with JaVale McGee and Ivica Zubac as the top options on the roster. So head coach Luke Walton will likely use a lot of lineups with LeBron or Kuzma playing center, which will create extra minutes for Beasley in the frontcourt.

The 6'9", 235-pounder could have filled a similar void for the Cavaliers last season. Cleveland also didn't feature a center, but it also lacked proven frontcourt players outside of James and Love.

That said, the Cavs still advanced all the way to the NBA Finals, and it's doubtful the addition of Beasley would have made much difference against the loaded Golden State Warriors, who swept James and Co. to capture their second straight championship.

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