Michael Beasley

Details On The Failed KCP-Jabari Parker Swap

The Lakers had a tentative deal in place earlier this season to acquire Jabari Parker and send Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley to the Bulls, a source tell Bill Oram of The Athletic. ESPN previously reported that the two teams discussed swapping Parker and KCP.

Caldwell-Pope would have had to agree to the deal, since he re-signed with the Lakers on a one-year contract, giving him the right to veto any trade. The deal was not signed off over the weekend leading up to Anthony Davis‘ public trade request and the Bulls were stuck in limbo for several days. Many within the league viewed Davis’ request as a call for the Lakers to trade for him. The Bulls subscribed to that notion and moved onto other trade discussions.

Parker was eventually sent to the Wizards in the Otto Porter Jr. deal, while KCP remains on the Lakers’ roster. Beasley was dealt to the Clippers along with Ivica Zubac and ultimately waived.

In Beasley’s case, the deal can partially be attributed to a locker room flair-up with coach Luke Walton. Walton wanted Beasley to play more unselfishly; Beasley, along with teammate JaVale McGee, challenged the request.

The Lakers ended up netting Mike Muscala in the Beasley-Zubac trade. Team president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka had watched Muscala score 17 points during a spirited Sixers win over the Lakers just days prior and some within the league believe that single performance inspired the front office to make the deal.

Michael Beasley To Play In China

FEBRUARY 21: Beasley has officially signed with Guangdong, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

FEBRUARY 19: Veteran NBA forward Michael Beasley is set to continue his career overseas, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Beasley is finalizing a deal with China’s Guangdong Southern Tigers. Wojnarowski suggests the deal, which figures to span about two months, will be worth “significant cash.”

Beasley, 30, spent most of the 2018/19 season with the Lakers after signing a one-year contract with the club last summer. However, his role in Los Angeles was limited. He appeared in just 26 games, averaging 7.0 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 10.7 minutes per contest.

The Lakers sent Beasley to the Clippers along with Ivica Zubac in exchange for Mike Muscala in a deadline deal earlier this month. The Clippers subsequently released Beasley, making him an unrestricted free agent.

A previous report from Emiliano Carchia of Sportando has suggested that veteran guard MarShon Brooks was set to replace guard Malcolm Delaney on Guangdong’s roster in China. That deal had yet to be officially finalized, so it’s possible Beasley is filling the spot that Brooks had initially been in line for, but we’ll wait for further confirmation to be sure.

This will be Beasley’s third stint in the Chinese Basketball Association, as he previously spent time with the Shanghai Sharks and the Shandong Golden Stars. While Guangdong is vying for first place in the CBA standings and could make a deep playoff run, Beasley’s season in China still may end before the NBA season does, which would leave the door open for him to return to an NBA team for the postseason.

As for Delaney, he told Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net that he’s in no hurry to sign with another team after leaving Guangdong. Varlas writes that three EuroLeague clubs have been in touch with Delaney, who is hoping for a return to the NBA. He previously spent a pair of seasons with the Hawks from 2016-18.

Clippers Waive Michael Beasley

The Clippers have waived Michael Beasley, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Beasley came to the franchise in the trade deadline deal that sent Mike Muscala to the Lakers.

Beasley never suited up for the Clippers. He played in 26 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 7.0 points per game.

The former No. 2 overall pick has had NBA stops in Los Angeles, Miami, Minnesota, Phoenix, Houston, Milwaukee, and New York. He has played in a total of 609 NBA games.

Lakers Trade Zubac, Beasley To Clippers For Muscala

8:07pm: The Clippers have officially announced their trade with the Lakers, issuing a press release to confirm the move. While there’s no indication yet that Beasley has been released, the statement from president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank makes it clear that Zubac is the prize of the deal.

“For two-plus seasons, we have seen Ivica up-close and watched him develop into a skilled center,” Frank said. “For his age, Ivica has proven to be an energetic rim protector who can score around the basket. We are eager for him to join our group of promising young players.”

1:39pm: The Clippers have agreed to trade power forward Mike Muscala to the Lakers for young center Ivica Zubac and journeyman forward Michael Beasley, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The deal will open a roster spot the Lakers, affording them the opportunity to sign a player on the buyout market, with Carmelo Anthony among the players they’ll consider, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter links here).

The Lakers will “seriously look” at Anthony, the Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner tweets. The Bulls waived Anthony on February 1st after acquiring him from the Rockets last month. Anthony has often been linked to the Lakers since things went sour quickly with the Rockets this season. He’s close friends with LeBron James, who recently stated his desire to play with the longtime All-Star forward.

“I’ve always wanted to play along Melo and if the opportunity presents itself, it would be great,” James said.

Muscala was just acquired by the Clippers in the blockbuster deal with Philadelphia that sent Tobias Harris to the Sixers. He gives the Lakers a big man who can shoot from deep. Muscala, who was averaging 7.4 PPG, is a career 36.5% shooter from distance.

The Clippers’ initial plan is to waive Beasley, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Zubac gives them a young big man to grow in their system. He was averaging 8.5 PPG and 4.9 RPG in limited playing time this season. The Clippers would have to extend him a $1.93MM qualifying offer this summer to make him a restricted free agent.

Michael Beasley Addresses Confrontation With Luke Walton

Following a loss to the Warriors last Saturday, a pair of Lakers veterans were reportedly involved in a heated altercation with head coach Luke Walton. The veterans in question were Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee.

Reports of the altercation varied from “stopping short of physical” to being “overhyped.” Beasley, in a statement released to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, confirmed that a postgame conversation with Walton occurred but never escalated beyond that.

“This past Saturday after the Warriors game, Coach Walton and our team had a conversation after a tough loss. Despite reports to the contrary, there was nothing physical between Coach Walton, me, or any other teammate,” Beasley said. “I’ve sat back in the past when stories have been twisted and misreported, but I won’t do that this time. I respect Luke and I respect this team. We are trying to win a championship together.”

Beasley, 30, has been among several Lakers mentioned in trade talks amid the organization’s pursuit of Anthony Davis. One year removed from averaging 13.2 PPG for the Knicks, Beasley has been relegated to just 25 games (two starts), averaging 7.2 PPG for Los Angeles.

As for McGee, who reportedly had a heated verbal joust with Walton, he described reports as “fake news” in a statement to Yahoo Sports. McGee, 31, has averaged 10.8 PPG for the Lakers as the team’s primary center.

The Lakers entered play on Tuesday with a 27-26 record, 1.5 games back of the Clippers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Lakers Make New Offer For Anthony Davis

2:42pm: The Lakers are willing to surrender Ball, Kuzma, Ingram, Rondo, Beasley, Lance Stephenson, and two first-round picks for Davis and Hill, reports Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

That reported offer fits the description Wojnarowski provided, as it includes three promising young players, multiple draft picks, and cap relief in the form of Hill’s contract. Of course, New Orleans doesn’t have any open roster spots, so a 6-for-2 deal might be a little problematic, but if the Pelicans like the offer, that obstacle could probably be overcome.

The Lakers are waiting on the Pelicans to respond, Turner tweets.

2:04pm: The Lakers have offered up a new package for Anthony Davis, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Los Angeles put an offer on the table that includes multiple young players, multiple draft picks, and cap relief for the Pelicans.

Wojnarowski suggests (via Twitter) that there’s no sense of how much progress the two sides have made, but the Lakers have “absolutely gotten more serious” in negotiations, and their latest offer moves closer to what the Pelicans want to get out of a Davis trade. Pelicans GM Dell Demps and Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson have had multiple conversations today, per Wojnarowski.

There were conflicting reports last week on what exactly the Lakers’ offer(s) to the Pelicans looked like. A Los Angeles Times report indicated that L.A. had put five different scenarios on the table for New Orleans, with one of those packages featuring Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and a first-round pick. However, the offer reported by Woj was less impressive, with Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley in place of Ingram and Zubac.

Wojnarowski’s latest report suggests that the Lakers’ newest offer probably looks a little different than both of those previously reported packages. If the Lakers are offering “cap relief,” that presumably means they’d be acquiring more than just Davis. Solomon Hill‘s contract ($12.52MM this season and $12.76MM next season) is the one the Pelicans would most like to get rid of, so he could be part of L.A.’s offer.

Earlier today, we learned that Davis’ camp informed the Pelicans he’d be willing to re-sign with the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers, or Bucks if he’s traded. However, the Knicks and Bucks would be hard-pressed to put together a viable package for Davis, and the Clippers have yet to make an offer, sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Walton, Lakers’ Veterans Clash After Loss

The Lakers are downplaying a “heated” exchange between coach Luke Walton and a pair of veteran players following Saturday’s loss to Golden State, writes ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Walton singled out several players in the locker room, accusing them of having a selfish approach and making poor decisions late in games, McMenamin relays. Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee lashed back, expressing their frustration over Walton’s changing rotations.

Beasley, who also clashed with Walton last month, repeatedly referred to his coach as “bro,” which Walton took exception to. The confrontation was described as tense, but it died down quickly.

“It never got close to getting out of control, people are always emotional after a loss,” a source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.  Another claimed to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk that it was “way overhyped.”

“Nothing crazy happened,” an unidentified Lakers player explained to The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “Luke said some things. The players said some things back. No one was disrespected. Nothing crazy was said.”

Another veteran, Lance Stephenson, posted a message on his Instagram account denying any involvement in the dispute.“Media decided to add Lance Stephenson … I’m in a very happy place … Nothing but positive,” he wrote. “If u going to write a story get the real facts please.”

Saturday’s dust-up offers a window into the tension that exists in the Lakers’ locker room, where no one except LeBron James is guaranteed to be part of the team’s future. Beasley, McGee and Stephenson are among several veterans on one-year contracts, while L.A’s young players are believed to be part of a package offered to the Pelicans in an attempt to land Anthony Davis.
Walton has been coaching for his job most of the season after being called out by management in the wake of a 3-5 start. A rumor that James’ representatives would prefer a coaching change was floated again last week.

Pelicans Unimpressed By Lakers’ ‘Underwhelming’ Offers

Los Angeles is reportedly Anthony Davis‘ preferred landing spot but the Lakers‘ early offers for the talented big man have been underwhelming, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

In their first offer for Davis, the Lakers’ package included Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and a first-round pick, Wojnarowski writes. The Lakers’ offers to the Pelicans’ have been limited to two of the organization’s top young players, one first-round pick and no salary relief, sources tell the ESPN scribe.

Wojnarowski compared the Lakers’ pursuit of Davis to the organization’s attempts to acquire Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in recent seasons. While L.A. had significant interest, the club’s offers underwhelmed the Spurs and Pacers, respectively, and both players were traded elsewhere.

While the two teams’ basketball decision-makers, Magic Johnson and Dell Demps, remain in touch, the Pelicans feel the early offers have not warranted a response or counter-offer, per ESPN’s report. The NBA trade deadline is five days away, which gives both sides time to find common ground on a trade.

As we relayed yesterday, the Knicks and Celtics are among the other teams with interest in Davis. However, the Knicks traded perhaps their most valuable asset in Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks after including him in offers for Davis. Also, the Celtics remain interested in Davis, but their ability to make an offer is restricted until July, and AD’s camp seems to be taking extra measures to push him toward the Lakers.

On Friday, Davis made his first comments since his trade request went public. The five-time All-Star explained he wants a new challenge after seven seasons in New Orleans, per Stefano Fusaro on ESPN Now.

“I just feel like it is my time,” Davis said. “Gave the city, organization, fans, everything I felt like I could do. I don’t know how long I’m going to play this game. People’s careers are short. I felt like it is my time to move on.”

Davis is sidelined with an injured left index finger, which he said will be re-evaluated after Saturday’s game in San Antonio. While he intends to return to action once he is medically cleared, there’s a chance the Pelicans will sit the big man for the rest of the season if a trade is not made.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Kings, Divac, Carmelo

The Warriors’ decision on what to do with their open roster spot depends on which teams they view as their biggest threats, Anthony Slater of The Athletic opines. While GM Bob Myers recently stated that adding another big was a priority, that could change if small-ball teams like Houston, Boston and Toronto are viewed as the primary threats to another championship. It makes more sense for Golden State to obtain another big if Utah, Denver and Oklahoma City are viewed as potential stumbling blocks. A deadline deal is unlikely, so the buyout market is a more likely source for a roster addition, Slater continues. Atlanta’s Dewayne Dedmon is a name to watch on the buyout market if the Hawks are unable to deal him, Slater adds.

We have more from around the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings are in the market for a small forward with more size and a quality backup to point guard De’Aaron Fox, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic. The Kings have been linked to Washington’s Otto Porter but the Wizards don’t appear to be in sell mode, Jones continues.  Dallas’ Harrison Barnes, Orlando’s Jonathon Simmons and Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore are some of the other wings the Kings could pursue, while Atlanta’s Jeremy Lin would be a good fit at the point.
  • The perception of Kings GM Vlade Divac has changed dramatically for the better over the past two years, Marcos Breton of the Sacramento Bee points out. Divac was heavily criticized for the DeMarcus Cousins deal with New Orleans but it turned out Sacramento’s favor. The Kings have been one of the league’s surprise teams this season despite a modest payroll. “We’ve made a huge step forward and I’m very happy where we are now,” Divac told Breton. “We need to grow. We need time … (But) we’re not in a hurry. We’re going to go step by step.”
  • Carmelo Anthony would be a poor fit for the Lakers, according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN. Los Angeles has been mentioned as a possible destination if the agreed-upon deal between Houston and Chicago becomes official and the Bulls waive him. Anthony would be competing for limited minutes with Michael Beasley, who is a superior rebounder and more efficient scorer. He might also take minutes away from wing players Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Josh Hart, who are better 3-point shooters and defenders. They’re also more comfortable playing off the ball than Anthony.

Pacific Notes: Green, Clippers, Beasley, Kings

Draymond Green is gradually getting closer to returning after missing more than two weeks of action with a sprained toe, some positive news for Golden State after the team announced Damian Jones tore his pectoral muscle over the weekend.

Green was originally expected to return during the Warriors‘ current road trip, but plans have since changed, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater (Twitter link). The Warriors don’t return to Oracle Arena until they host the Timberwolves next Monday.

Green has made progress in the past two weeks and no longer feels pain in his toe, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell (Twitter link). He’s played a major role in the Warriors’ past three title teams and will provide a much-needed boost once he returns. The Warriors, who just got Stephen Curry back from injury, are 5-5 without Green this season.

“I just need to play,” Green said Saturday, according to Friedell. “I don’t really think practices are going to be it for me because practice ain’t really [hard]. Just got to get up and down some. It’s about building to that process too so we’ll see.”

There’s more out of the Pacific division today:

  • Despite the recent underwhelming play from the bench, the Clippers have continued putting forth a strong effort on both ends of the floor, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times writes. Los Angeles has started the 2018/19 season with a 15-6 record, good for the top seed in the Western Conference.
  • Lakers forward Michael Beasley has accepted his role with the team this season despite not knowing when he’ll play, The Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner writes. Beasley was one of several veterans who joined the Lakers this past offseason after LeBron James made his decision. “I stayed engaged the same way you [in the media] stayed engaged as a fan,” Beasley said. “I enjoy the game. I enjoy my teammates. God has granted me serenity a long time ago.”
  • The Kings intend to use the same development plan with Marvin Bagley lll that they used with De’Aaron Fox, James Ham of NBC Sports writes. Sacramento drafted Fox fifth overall back in 2017, then used its No. 2 overall pick in June’s draft to select Bagley lll. “I feel like I’m getting better and better,” Bagley said. “It’s coming along. I just can’t wait to develop some more things to add to my game and one day be one of those guys in this league that people know and people look up to and want to be like.”