Lakers Pushed to Trade ‘Disappointing Starter’ for Emerging Wolves Guard

malik beasley

Getty Malik Beasley with Minnesota Timberwolves teammates.

The Los Angeles Lakers are about to head into an offseason that is sure to be ripe with plenty of trade rumors. The team has already been linked to a number of possible superstar additions but it’s more likely they target smaller names. The Lakers already have plenty of defense so they need to focus on bringing in some offensive talent.

They never found a dependable third scorer when Anthony Davis and LeBron James were either injured or not playing well. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope plays great defense and has been an important offensive contributor on a number of occasions. However, he fell apart in the playoffs when the Lakers needed him most. Against the Phoenix Suns, he averaged 6.2 points on 37.9% shooting and made 21.1% of his threes. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes Los Angeles should trade Caldwell-Pope and their 2021 first-round pick (No. 22 overall) for Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley:

Beasley gives the Lakers the scoring punch they need when LeBron James and Anthony Davis need a breather, and he’s a terrific floor-spacer and off-ball threat (41.3 percent on catch-and-shoot threes).

Caldwell-Pope is good enough to become Minnesota’s starting small forward, a three-and-D wing between Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. The Wolves agree to this deal to pick up a 2021 first-round pick, however, especially after trading both their selections to the Golden State Warriors in the Andrew Wiggins-D’Angelo Russell swap.


HIGHLIGHTS | Kentavious Caldwell Pope (28 pts, 4 reb) at Miami HeatSubscribe for the latest Lakers' content: youtube.com/channel/UC8CSt-oVqy8pUAoKSApTxQw Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/lakers Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/lakers/ Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Lakers Get the Lakers app: nba.com/lakers/multimedia… Check out the Lakers full 2019-20 regular-season schedule: nba.com/lakers/schedule2021-04-09T02:49:24Z

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Beasley Would Be an Interesting Addition

Beasley wouldn’t bring much to the Lakers defensively and he’s still a bit of a question mark. Prior to joining the Timberwolves last season, he never averaged more than 11.3 points a game in season. In 51 games with Minnesota, he’s averaging 19.9 a game. He’s also shooting 40.6% from three in those two seasons. Beasley is the exact type of player the Lakers could use right now.

That said, he doesn’t have a long track record of success. His recent productivity could be an example of a player being able to pad his stats on a bad team. It would certainly be a risk for Los Angeles to bring him in. He does have star potential so it could be worth the risk after the Lakers disappointed this season.


Letting Go of KCP Will Be Tough

At this point, Caldwell-Pope is one the longest-tenured Lakers. He was there before LeBron came and is one of the few that have been able to stick around. He also shares an agent with LeBron and Davis so there’s a strong relationship there.

Unfortunately, he’s been very inconsistent since he joined the team. Last season, he was an important player on the championships team. He played well in the NBA Finals. He also started off this season incredibly hot. After that hot start, he fell off and never fully returned to form. That was evident in the playoffs. He’s a solid player but the Lakers have him a sizable contract last offseason. That money might be better used on an offensive playmaker like Beasley.

READ NEXT: Ex-Lakers Starter Asked to Be Let Go When LeBron James Joined Team: Report

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