Lakers Rumors: Michael Beasley still an option?

Over the past few weeks or so, the trade rumors have been swirling around the league about forward Michael Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The one team that seems to be the most interested in the 23-year-old forward is the Los Angeles Lakers. With the T’Wolves offering the Beasley for two first-round draft picks in return, the consensus was that the Lakers might pull the trigger on this deal and get a considerable upgrade at small forward as a result.

Unfortunately, the Lakers determined that the cost of the two first-round draft picks and the effect it would have in terms of the luxury tax next season would be too great to take on. Despite the Lakers declining this trade proposal by the Timberwolves, this deal could easily be restructured to benefit both teams.

According to Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld.com, here is the scenario that might work:

If LA would surrender two first-round picks, the Wolves could swap Beasley for seldom-used forward Luke Walton.

The Lakers have two selections in the upcoming draft (their own and a protected first from the Dallas Mavericks).  LA would be able to send both from 2012 or just one and a future pick in 2014.

Naturally Minnesota has no interest in Walton but would they be willing to surrender some of their cap space next year for draft considerations? Luke is set to make $5.8 million in 2012/13 but he has a 7.5% trade kicker so that would climb to $6.2 million.

This would be an interesting counter offer by the Los Angeles Lakers and just might work if they can convince the Minnesota Timberwolves to make the move before the NBA trade deadline on March 15. Luke Walton was one of the fan favorites on this Lakers team a few years ago, but now most people believe he is by far the most overpaid player on the team and needs to go, either via trade, release or retirement (which he considered before the season).

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