NBA trade rumors continue to connect the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves, but the latest scenario surrounding the two teams doesn't include the iffy Pau Gasol for Derrick Williams trade that doesn't entirely make sense. The newest scuttlebutt revolves around the Lakers' potential interest in Michael Beasley.
Beasley is coming off the bench for the Wolves, but he's arguably their top wing option. If he can be used to help Rick Adelman's team get better, though, moving him probably wouldn't break too many hearts in the Twin Cities.
The Beasley rumors were first reported by ESPN's Chris Broussard, who says the Lakers had discussions regarding the enigmatic small forward during the offseason.
The Lakers' front office knows Kobe Bryant is looking for it to improve the roster, and GM Mitch Kupchak has been working the phones. He's spoken to Minnesota about Michael Beasley, and sources say the Lakers are intrigued by the Timberwolves' small forward. The Lakers were actually in discussions with Minnesota about a potential trade for Beasley before the season started. If they would have been able to pull off the deal for Chris Paul, there is a good chance that a trade for Beasley would have followed.
It's not clear what the Lakers would give Minnesota for Beasley (if indeed the talks get that far), but the Lakers could absorb Beasley into their $8.9 million trade exception while giving up a draft pick or cash. I'm told the teams have not spoken about Pau Gasol since the preseason. Minnesota is looking to move Beasley, who they feel has matured very little (if at all) since he's been there, according to sources. The Lakers believe they can handle a player like Beasley because of their winning culture and the leadership of Bryant.
If it ended up being a straight salary dump this season, that probably isn't the route to go. If the Wolves could get better doing it, though ... well, why not?