2. Malik Beasley
Malik Beasley seemed like an excellent inclusion that was just thrown into the Russell Westbrook trade. While his deficiencies on the defensive end were pointed out when he was first brought to the Lake Show, his ability as a three-point shooter still enticed fans.
At his best, Beasley can be a truly special catch-and-shoot specialist that can work his way into any offense. With the natural gravity that LeBron James and Anthony Davis have near the rim, it seemed on paper that Beasley would be exceptional from three.
That has not really been the case. While he certainly has not been bad for the Lakers this season he has not been the sharpshooter that fans expected. His 35.2% three-point rate is lower than it was in Utah and is two percent lower than his career average.
Beasley has a $16.5 million club option for next season, which would make him the third-highest paid Laker before the team makes any free agency moves. If Beasley was firing on all cylinders then LA would not have to think twice about that option.
But if a one-way player is not living up to expectations in his one area of expertise is changes the conversation. Without this second apron, the Lakers may have accepted his option solely because they didn’t want to lose the asset for nothing.
With this new apron, the Lakers’ odds of letting him walk and not wanting to pay that price are higher.