The Los Angeles Lakers have been very busy throughout the first 24 hours of NBA free agency. Next season’s roster is really starting to take shape as the team looks to get over the hump and make the NBA Finals.
Rob Pelinka was adamantly leading into free agency that last year’s core would mostly remain the same with upgrades sprinkled throughout. That has been the story thus far as the likes of Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell have been re-signed along with young, rotational upgrades.
It is clear that there is an obvious end in mind and that Pelinka and Co. are simply putting together the puzzle piece by piece. Using the moves that have already been made, fans can predict which moves are on the horizon. And as it stands right now, it seems very likely that Los Angeles may end up re-signing Malik Beasley after initially rejecting his player option.
Lakers have just enough space to re-sign Malik Beasley
The Lakers put the biggest puzzle piece in place by re-signing Austin Reaves to a much cheaper deal than expected. That helps in the long-term but also helps with what the team can do this offseason.
That gives the Lakers just enough space to fill out the roster while also utilizing Beasley’s Bird Rights to bring him back on a cheaper deal (while staying under the luxury tax apron). It is a tough pill to swallow for Beasley, who would be taking over a $10 million pay cut, but at some point you are only going to get what your market dictates.
As bad as it was at times for Beasley in the NBA Playoffs, the Lakers could still use more two-guard depth and need more shooting. Beasley is someone who has proven he can make threes at a high volume and the ship has not sailed on him turning it around and providing that shooting next season.
Beasley simply was not worth the $15.7 million he would have made if LA accepted his club option. As a $5 million role player that can come off the bench, Beasley has a lot of value.
Plus, the Lakers have continued the trend of bringing in former Minnesota Timberwolves as part of the young core. In addition to Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt, LA also signed Taurean Prince with the Bi-Annual exception.
Having chemistry and familiarity is really important for a title-contending team and Beasley knows what it takes to play alongside those guys.