The Lakers are swarming in controversy right now, and perhaps growing desperate. Thanks to superstar Kobe Bryant’s open comments about the trade rumors revolving around teammate Pau Gasol, the Lakers’ front office has never been in a more awkward position.
And while the Lakers continue to sort through the internal issues, the controversy actually hurts the Wolves. ESPN is reporting that the Lakers have inquired about the Timberwolves’ Michael Beasley. A trade, if done, wouldn’t be worth much in return for the Timberwolves except mostly likely a big fat salary dump and maybe a draft pick — something the Wolves certainly don’t need, believe it or not.
Although we recieved Beasley for two loaves of Wonder white bread, he still holds some value to the young Wolves. After suffering a foot injury that sidelined him for 11 straight games, Beasley has nestled himself into the sixth man role for the Wolves. An unfamilar spot, Beasley is still taking his time getting used to the reduced role and reduced minutes. But Beasley’s rotation swap has forced him to be more efficient in his limited time on the court.
Known as a volume scorer a lot like Kobe Bryant, Beasley, in the past, needed the ball in his hands to be successful. But lately Beasley has been spotted doing all sorts of things for the Wolves including higher rebounding numbers and stiffer defense, once an afterthought in Beasley’s capabilities. These different aspects of his game have actually improved his offense a bit too as well as his confidence. He’s looking to post up more often, where I believe he does his best work, and is hitting his open shots, especially from three-point land (43-percent, a team high).
Beasley still has lightyears to go in terms of attitude and overall game i.q., but he’s proving himself worthy of being a potent scorer off the bench, much like Jason Terry has done for the defending champion Mavericks. It’s a brilliant move by Adelman to move Beasley to the bench because; 1) It has forced Beasley to amp his game up and make his minutes more efficient; and 2) Limits Beasley from blowing up on the court when things start going awry, which happens often on the offensive end.
He’s a headcase and somewhat of a black hole on the offensive end. I’m not so sure how any of Beasley’s qualities fit the Lakers’ needs — they’re small forward position is weak — but using Beasley outside of his current sixth man role would do them no good; he’d likely fall back into his comfort zone of demanding the ball and taking lots of shots. That’s not a good combo to put alongside Pau Gasol and, of course, Kobe.
The Wolves don’t need to dump Beasley quite yet. David Kahn needs to let the season run its course and see who could fill the small forward/sixth man position in the future — Michael Beasley or Derrick Williams, if he loses weight, that is. Once that gets sorted out, then the Wolves could afford to make a move using either forward to seek the ultimate prize, a starting 2-guard. Having said that, the Wolves would be smart to hold on to Beasley for the rest of the season before jumping the gun for minimal assets.