The Los Angeles Lakers were extremely active in the lead-up to this year’s NBA trade deadline. Whereas the team generally prefers not to make any substantive changes mid-season -- so as to not interrupt flow and rhythm -- this time around, Jim Buss and Co. appeared to throw caution to the wind.
Once the deadline expired, Derek Fisher and Luke Walton (plus the horrible contracts that both had) were out, Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill were in.
These days, a lot of folks are questioning how wise it was to give away Fisher to the Oklahoma City Thunder and whether Sessions was worth bringing in – but that mostly stems from sadness regarding how the Lakers' run ended.
Shedding Fisher’s salary was great (Walton’s salary too, for that matter), and adding a younger, more capable point guard was a smart move. Sure, Sessions shrunk under the playoff lights, but don’t forget – these were his first playoffs ever. He’ll grow. He’ll mature. And if the Lakers aren’t able to bring in a Deron Williams or Jason Kidd this summer, they’ll be lucky to have a guy with Sessions’ skills running the offense.
Because of how active the Lakers were in the lead-up to the trade deadline, most only zeroed in on the moves that they actually made. What received far less attention, though, was a deal that the team almost made. A last minute trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lakers that would have netted L.A. Michael Beasley collapsed at the very last second, for reasons that were never really fully expounded on in the aftermath.
Now, more reports have come out that the team is once again interested in the former number two overall pick. And, it also seems that the feelings are mutual.
According to sources close to the Timberwolves organization, Minnesota General Manager David Kahn told team owner Glen Taylor that the team was interested in pursuing a sign-and-trade with the Lakers in July.
Beasley is unquestionably a talented (albeit, slightly troubled) guy, but do the Lakers really need him? Again, the three spot was not the team’s major weakness towards the latter part of the year. Yes, early in the season when Metta World Peace was out of shape, it looked like the Lakers’ mediocre trifecta of Peace-Matt Barnes-Devin Ebanks was the worst thing ever. However, when Peace worked himself back into tip-top condition to close out the year – he was legitimately the squad’s third best player.
The Lakers need upgrades at point and depth off the bench far more than they need another small forward. Would Andre Iguodala be great? Sure. Would Beasley be great? Sure. But not at the expense of bringing in a point guard, a big man or some additional guys who could pump some life into the now defunct bench mob.
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