The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the title contenders that are expected to be active on the trade market in the 2021 offseason. Though they remain as a legitimate threat in the loaded Western Conference, the Lakers obviously need to improve their roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis in order to have a better chance of returning to the NBA Finals and reclaiming their throne in the 2021-22 NBA season.
One of the most realistic trade targets for the Lakers this summer is Malik Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Lakers Could Replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope With Malik Beasley
In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report created a list of trade ideas to replace the NBA's most disappointing starters. For the Lakers, it's the hypothetical deal that would allow them to replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with Malik Beasley as their starting shooting guard next season.
In the proposed trade scenario by Swartz, the Lakers would be sending a package that includes Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft to the Timberwolves in exchange for Beasley.
Why The Timberwolves Would Make The Trade
As of now, the Timberwolves are yet to make Beasley officially available on the trading block. However, with the emergence of rookie shooting guard Anthony Edwards, Swartz thinks that the Timberwolves "may be willing" to move Beasley this summer.
By sending him to Los Angeles, the Timberwolves would be getting another veteran shooting guard in KCP and the No. 22 pick in the upcoming draft. If they decide to keep him, the Timberwolves could utilize Caldwell-Pope as their sixth man next season.
Malik Beasley An Upgrade Over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
The Lakers shouldn't mind sacrificing the No. 22 pick as long as it would help them improve their roster around James and Davis. Beasley would be an upgrade over Caldwell-Pope at the Lakers' starting shooting guard position. Beasley isn't only four years younger than Caldwell-Pope, but he's also a more consistent scorer and three-point shooter.
This season, the 24-year-old sharpshooter averaged 19.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 44.0 percent from the field and 39.9 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Malik Beasley Gives Lakers Offensive Boost
If he could provide the same impact in Los Angeles, the potential arrival of Beasley would undeniably significantly improve the Lakers' performance on the offensive end of the floor next season.
"Beasley gives the Lakers the scoring punch they need when LeBron James and Anthony Davis need a breather, and he's a terrific floor-spacer and off-ball threat (41.3 percent on catch-and-shoot threes)," Swartz wrote.
The successful acquisition of Beasley would be beneficial for James and Davis. Sharing the floor with an elite three-point shooter like him would make it easier for them to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team's defense.