The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Malik Beasley from the Utah Jazz at the February trade deadline and the sharpshooter may not be just a rental for the purple and gold.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said on March 16 that Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has been trying to acquire Beasley for a while, which means Los Angeles could pick up the 26-year-old’s team option for next season.
“From what I’ve heard, Lakers executive Rob Pelinka has had interest in Beasley for a while, and this could be more than just a short-term thing since he has a $16.5 million team option for next season,” Scotto said. “Beasley is loving it in LA. He’s starting on a winning team and will get the chance to play with LeBron more soon.”
Beasley has a team option worth $16.5 million for 2023-24. The Florida State product is averaging 12.4 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 39.0% from the field and 34.5% from beyond the arc with the Lakers. Beasley’s best game with Los Angeles came on February 23 against the Golden State Warriors. The guard scored 25 points while shooting 56.3% overall and 63.6% from 3.
The Lakers are 9-6 with Beasley in the lineup. However, they have lost two straight games versus the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.
Lakers Beat Writer: Malik Beasley Is the Best Shooter LA Has Had in the LeBron James & Anthony Davis Era
Jovan Buha, who covers the Lakers for The Athletic, told Scotto that he believes Beasley is the best shooter Los Angeles has had in the LeBron James and Anthony Davis era.
“I do think they pick up Beasley’s team option,” Buha said. “It’s just one of those situations where you don’t have the means to replace him. I think, as you saw in Tuesday’s game against the Pelicans, he can go off for seven threes in a half and light a team up. He’s the best shooter the Lakers have had in the LeBron and AD era. I don’t think it’s debatable in terms of the number of attempts he’s willing to get up, his confidence, and his percentage. He’s shot in the high 30s on seven or eight attempts a game for the last several years.”
The Lakers are in 11th place in the Western Conference standings. The top six seeds in the conference automatically make the playoffs, while seeds 7-10 make the play-in tournament.
Los Angeles missed the play-in tournament last season despite having James, Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard.
LeBron James Is Not Close to Returning
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, James isn’t close to returning from his right foot tendon injury. The four-time MVP suffered his injury on February 26 against the Mavericks.
“LeBron is not close to returning from what I am told,” Windhorst said on his podcast. “I know that everybody said the three weeks, but I think it was very clear three weeks is when he’s going to get an official re-evaluation. It didn’t mean he’s coming back in three weeks. I know that LeBron has played through injuries in the past. I’m not 100 percent sure this is an injury you can play through.”
James, 38, is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists on the season while shooting 50.1% from the field, 30.8% from beyond the arc and 75.9% from the free-throw line. The Lakers have 11 games left in the regular season, beginning on March 19 versus the Orlando Magic.