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Lakers will cut Malik Beasley if they can’t trade him before his contract guarantees

The Lakers are expected to continue cutting salary ahead of NBA free agency, as after waiving Mo Bamba, they appear poised to do the same with Malik Beasley.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

After acquiring him mid-season as part of their roster revamp, the Lakers are reportedly set to decline their team option on Malik Beasley before it becomes guaranteed at midnight if they can’t find a team to take him in a trade.

Beasley is currently slated to make $16.5 million next season, the final year of his deal. Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports broke the news:

If Beasley is indeed cut alongside Mo Bamba, the Lakers will open up their mid-level and bi-annual exceptions — the use of which would hard cap the team — with the former potentially being used to chase Denver Nuggets wing Bruce Brown.

However, the team hasn’t fully ruled out a return for either Beasley or Bamba, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

With the Lakers last season, Beasley played 26 games in the regular season, averaging 11.1 points per game in 23.9 minutes. For much of that time, though, he struggled shooting the ball, connecting on just 39.2% of his field goal attempts and 35.3% of his 3-point attempts.

It was highs and lows for Beasley in his long-range shooting. He finished with four games in purple and gold with at least six 3-pointers in that short span, but also nine games with one or no 3-pointers made.

In the playoffs, Beasley’s limitations were more evident, as he played in 11 games but was gradually phased out of the rotation throughout the postseason. After playing in each of the first six games, Beasley only featured in garbage time for the remainder of the playoffs.

Beasley’s name was mentioned rather consistently in trade rumors leading up to the draft as part of a package with the No. 17 pick. However, the Lakers opted to keep the pick and draft Jalen Hood-Schifino, setting up the decision this week by the Lakers.

This breaking news story may be updated with more information as it develops. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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