Lakers To Decline Malik Beasley’s Team Option

In addition to waiving Mohamed Bamba before his salary became guaranteed, the Lakers also won’t exercise their team option on Malik Beasley for 2023/24, making him an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link).

However, a reunion could still be in the works. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the Lakers will retain Beasley’s Bird rights, and McMenamin reports that the Lakers plan to keep in touch with both players, with new contracts a possibility. Los Angeles will lose Bamba’s Bird rights after waiving him.

As our team option tracker shows, Beasley’s option was worth $16,524,106. He didn’t play up to that type of contract in ’22/23, so it’s not a surprise that it will be declined, though there was some thought that it might be exercised in order to explore sign-and-trade scenarios.

A long-range shooting specialist who holds a career mark of 37.8% from deep, Beasley shot just 35.7% last season, including 35.3% with the Lakers. He was acquired from Utah at the trade deadline in the deal involving Russell Westbrook.

Overall, the 26-year-old appeared in 81 games last season, including 27 starts (25.8 MPG). The Lakers had hoped he would provide an offensive jolt, but his numbers declined with L.A. and he was a non-factor in the postseason, appearing in 11 games while shooting 26.9% from three in 8.3 MPG.

While Beasley is an extremely streaky shooter who doesn’t bring a whole lot else to the table, he did shoot 38.9% from beyond the arc in 252 games from 2018-2022. That, combined with his age, should make him a popular target in free agency.

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