We’ve touched on this before, but the Los Angeles Lakers have shown some interest in Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Michael Beasley. But today word comes to us that the Lake Show aren’t the only team looking at potentially acquiring the talented but immature wing man.
Word is the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic have entered the Beasley derby but that doesn’t mean either team is willing to part with much to get him. The 23-year-old wing man can be a great scorer, but has shown himself to be unreliable at times on and off the court.
The New Jersey Nets are also interested in acquiring Beasley, but at this point they’ll add just about anyone if they think it would give them a better shot at keeping point guard Deron Williams around next season.
The No. 2 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft has many years of basketball ahead of him, but already in his short career the Kansas State product has shown plenty of red flags. The fact that the Miami Heat traded him away in the summer of 2010 and could only get a second-round pick in return says a lot.
Beasley has played in 29 games so far this year (with seven starts) and is averaging 24.3 minutes, 11.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting 42.4 percent from behind the 3-point line, which is a huge improvement from last season (36.6 percent).
But overall his numbers are down from last year, when he started all 73 games he played in and averaged 32.3 minutes, 19.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Beasley will be a restricted free agent this summer, that means whichever team picks him up could lose him in the offseason if he gets offered a decent-sized deal from another franchise. That said, Beasley’s team would have a chance to match any contract offer made to him.
The Lakers may be out of the Beasley sweepstakes simply because they will probably refuse to surrender one of their two first-round picks from this year’s draft in exchange for him. In addition to that, Los Angeles doesn’t want to take the luxury tax hit his contract would bring with it.
That leaves the Celtics, Magic and Nets in the running for him and I wouldn’t be surprised if other suitors pop up before the March 15 trade deadline.