The Los Angeles Lakers signed a number of colorful characters this summer, including Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise when they added one more eccentric personality to the mix when they rounded out their roster by signing veteran forward Michael Beasley. Selected with the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Beasley was expected to be the Kevin Durant of that year’s class.
His ability to score the basketball from the wing was highly developed for a player coming out of college and it seemed like superstardom was all but a certainty.
While Beasley had his moments of brilliance, his tenure in Miami ended abruptly when LeBron James, now a teammate of his with the Lakers, took his talents to South Beach and the Heat shipped Beasley off to Minnesota to clear salary cap space.
Despite scoring a career-high 19.2 points per game for the Wolves in 2010-11, Beasley has bounced around – and sometimes out of – the NBA, with stops in Phoenix, Miami (again), Houston, Milwaukee, and most recently, the New York Knicks.
Beasley has managed to adapt to the NBA’s changing style of play by increasing his efficiency from behind the arc and spending more minutes as a power forward and sometimes even center. On a Lakers team lacking in true bigs, Beasley could very well wind up seeing minutes as a small ball center, something that few would have imagined when he came into the league ten years ago.
His ability to stretch the floor out to the three-point line makes him a valuable addition for spacing purposes, and should a play bog down, he provides a safety valve thanks to his ability to create and make his own shot at a high level.
Beasley will have plenty of competition for minutes on a deep Lakers team, but he just might provide the scoring punch that their second unit needs.