Monday, October 2 2023

This summer, the Los Angeles Lakers will have to decide whether to keep guard D’Angelo Russell on a new contract or perhaps flip him for an upgrade such as Kyrie Irving.

In addition, they will have to find a way to retain Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura no matter how much it costs, something which is a very high priority for them.

But another upcoming decision that is flying under the radar is whether L.A. will pick up the team option on guard Malik Beasley’s contract for next season.

He arrived in February’s Russell Westbrook trade and was expected by most to give the team a major upgrade in the 3-point shooting department. Instead, he struggled almost every night and ended up playing himself out of head coach Darvin Ham’s rotation.

Still, Beasley says he’s thankful that he had the opportunity to be a part of the Lakers’ midseason turnaround.

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“I just wanna control what I can control whether that’s here or anywhere else,” Beasley said during his exit interview. “Just have a great summer, work on the things I need to work on. From a standpoint view of the season I think I had a great opportunity to play for the Lakers. Turn the season around by going 18-8 after the All-Star break and then playing in the playoffs.

“I’m just very thankful to have that opportunity. Had some ups and downs, but at the end of the day we changed the culture. The three guys that came with me, Vando (Jarred Vanderbilt) and D-Lo (D’Angelo Russell), we changed the culture so that’s our main focus.”


Beasley also said he would like to remain with the team next season when asked about his exit interview with Ham and executive Rob Pelinka.

“I don’t wanna speak on it too much because you never know what can happen,” Beasley said. “But obviously, with the culture that we brought here when we came here he loves that and he wants to maintain that so hopefully we can make something happen where I come back. But like I said, I can only control what I can control so I either way, I’m gonna make sure I stay ready.”

The guard shot 35.3 percent from 3-point range in 26 regular season games with the Lakers, but that stat is misleading. He shot poorly from that distance much more often than not, and he simply wasn’t able to consistently hit when he was open.

Given those struggles, it’s hard to imagine him sticking around that much longer. Perhaps the team will pick up his option, but unless he turns things around this fall, it may seem him as useful only in the sense of salary ballast in a potential trade.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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