The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly signed NBA free agent Michael Beasley to a one-year, $3.5 million deal, according to Shams Charania of the Vertical and Chris Haynes of ESPN. The contract uses up most of the team’s room exception:
Free agent Michael Beasley has agreed to a deal with the Lakers, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 20, 2018
Sources: It’s a one-year, $3.5 million deal. https://t.co/jnOE9JOUPw— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 20, 2018
Beasley’s deal is (likely) the 15th guaranteed contract on the Lakers’ roster, the maximum a team can carry during the regular season, so any more training camp additions the team makes will likely be just for camp or with a G League spot on the South Bay Lakers in mind.
Beasley never lived up to being a No. 2 pick in the draft, but he has had a solid career and was decent as a role player for the New York Knicks last season, averaging 13.2 points on 50.7 percent shooting. Beasley also grabbed 5.6 rebounds per game, but doesn’t do much else beyond score.
Michael Beasley last season:— Alex Regla (@AlexmRegla) July 20, 2018
94th percentile in usage
78th percentile in assist%
36th percentile in points per shot attempt
39th percentile in eFG%
64th percentile in midrange%
98th percentile in non corner 3%
85th percentile in three%
*among bigs per CTG
But still, Beasley is a decent scorer at least, and not a bad guy for the Lakers to have at this price as their 13th, 14th or 15th man, depending on how one views the roster.
Two things are also clear in the wake of this signing. One — unless Ivica Zubac, JaVale McGee or Moe Wagner are FAR more ready for big minutes than anyone anticipates — the Lakers are basically punting their depth at center. This team is going to be playing A TON of smallball, and will probably regularly feature several lineups that are just five versatile ballhandlers wreaking havoc in transition.
Basically, if Beasley’s former Miami Heat teammate LeBron James isn’t as excited about playing smallball center as the Lakers coaching staff reportedly is about seeing him do it, then the Lakers are sort of screwed (at least defensively).
The other takeaway of Beasley coming aboard is that the Lakers have now assembled potentially the most memeable team in NBA history, with Super Cool Beas joining a locker room that already features Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and McGee, and that’s without mentioning the young Lakers relentlessly roasting each other on social media.
But as clear as those two takeaways seem to be, only one thing is certain: win or lose, this is going to be a crazy, entertaining season.
This story is updating with more information as it becomes available. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.