After just one year in New York with the Knicks, Michael Beasley is heading to the West coast to join the Los Angeles Lakers. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Beasley and the Lakers have agreed to a one year deal.
The veteran forward will be adding to the rather curious cast of the Lakers who signed this summer as free agents, along with LeBron James. Some of the new additions are leading to skepticism among basketball fans.
The 6-foot-9 lefty will be playing for his seventh team this season for a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Lakers, keeping Beasley in LA for an affordable price. The news is in character with the other three free agents signed. Although James will stay on the West coast for four years, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, and Lance Stephenson all agreed to one-year deals with the Lakers.
After playing 78 games with the New York Knicks, the 29-year-old averaged 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. The season was his highest scoring season since 2010-11. In January, Kevin Durant stated his support of Beasley as a player, saying Beasley has something that separates him from the rest.
“He can score from anywhere, he can score on anybody, he can use both hands,” Durant said. “He’s got the foundation of his game set, it’s just time to build on top of it.”
Beasley, the self-proclaimed “Walking Bucket” said he hoped to return to the Knicks for the 2018-19 season. However, the forward will have a chance to build his game with the Lakers instead.
A gypsy of sorts, Beasley has been unable to stay in place for more than two seasons. Playing for the Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat (once again), Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and now the L.A. Lakers.
The upcoming season will be an opportunity to re-write history with Beasley and James playing together once again. The pair were teammates in Miami during the 2013-14 season after Beasley was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, although it is still unclear if their relationship was a factor in Beasley’s exit.
Fans are eager to see how the new dynamic plays out. Beasley’s veteran shooting abilities are an asset to the team after connecting 39.5 percent of his three-point shots the past season. His sharp shooting will easily spread the defense allowing James more room in the paint to play at his fullest potential.
The Lakers continue to win the chess match of free agency.