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What the addition of Michael Beasley to the increasingly colourful Los Angeles Lakers means

Michael Beasley may be a character, but he's also a versatile player who can help the Los Angeles Lakers in small-ball lineups.

Jay Asser 2018/07/21

The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be going all-in on colourful characters as they continued their series of head-scratching moves by signing the mercurial Michael Beasley.

Keeping in line with what they’ve done this summer, the Lakers added Beasley on a one-year, $3.5 million deal, according to ESPN.

The signing gives the team another talented, but unpredictable personality after bringing on Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee earlier this offseason.

Like those names, though, Beasley is only on a one-year contract, which means the Lakers will maintain financial flexibility for next summer when they’re expected to chase multiple stars in free agency.

For this season, the Beasley signing, so long as it’s guaranteed, means the Lakers are now at the max number of filled roster spots with 15.

Looking at the team’s depth chart, they’re deep at the guard and wing positions, but lacking for true centres, with only McGee and Ivica Zubac occupying that role.

Barring any significant moves, it appears as if the Lakers will head into the season looking to play a lot of small-ball lineups, which could utilise LeBron James at the five.

Beasley fits that style as a 6-foot-9 wing who can play inside and out, while theoretically defending multiple positions on the other end.

The 29-year-old’s offensive talent is unquestioned and though he’s never been someone who averages 20-plus points on a night-to-night basis, he has that kind of ability.

His efficiency has also improved later in his career as he’s shot over 50 per cent in three straight seasons and over 39 per cent from deep the past two years.

The real concern with Beasley is on defence, where he’s often lacked effort and focus.

Still, it would seem James is a fan of Beasley as unlike with Rondo, Stephenson or McGee, LeBron has played alongside the newest Laker before, back when they were on the Miami Heat for the 2013-14 season. Miami lost to San Antonio in the Finals that year while Beasley averaged 7.9 points on 49.9 per cent shooting in 15.1 minutes per game.

Whether or not the pairing is nearly as successful a second time around, the Lakers will be nothing if not interesting.

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Ivica Zubic JaVale McGee Lance Stephenson LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers Michael Beasley Rajon Rondo