Acquired at the trade deadline as part of the trade that allowed the Los Angeles Lakers to unload Russell Westbrook, Malik Beasley was certainly one of the highlight acquisitions for the purple and gold as a seemingly perfect fix next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. One of the most prolific three-point shooters in the league, Beasley was certainly seen by LA’s front office as the prototypical role player that would greatly benefit by joining the Lakers and their dynamic duo.
Yet his contribution has not been as great as expected. His production has not been much different from that in Minnesota as his game has not elevated as expected.
Beasley’s tenure in Los Angles so far has been characterized by a little bit of inconsistency, alternating great shooting nights to subpar ones. An up-and-down section of the season that certainly did not subtract from his value on the team but penalized him a little bit.
As a matter of fact, coinciding with Austin Reaves’s surge, Beasley lost his starting spot to the young kid from Arkansas. Much to Reaves’ credit than Beasley’s demerit, but it is definitely a change not foreseen when Darvin Ham instituted the new starting lineup that would better fit his two stars.
However, there is still time for Malik Beasley to make his mark for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers are currently undertaking an unlikely playoff run, which is when the half-court offense starts to play a major role in basketball. It is a major shift for the Lakers, one of the best transition teams in the NBA, and this is the moment when spot-up shooters’ role becomes even more critical than they normally are. Remember the role Kentavious Caldwell-Pope played in the Lakers’ championship run in the bubble? Beasley could do the same.
Playing alongside King James, Beasley has all the necessary skills to shine through this playoff run. Much like Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves did in the first three games against the Memphis Grizzlies, there will come games when his contribution will elevate and help the Lakers win major games throughout these playoffs.
Lakers fans need to be patient with Beasley. While it has not been great thus far, all it will take is one huge game that swings a series to justify bringing him to LA in the first place.