Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 3/2/12

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been looking to trade forward Michael Beasley pretty much all season. Their thinking is that by moving him it would free up a spot for Derrick Williams to get more time in the rotation. Beasley is having a decent season in Minnesota but the Timberwolves have a crowded frontcourt and he is expendable.

The problem for the T-wolves will be finding a suitable trading partner who is willing to add Beasley, take on his $6.2 million salary and also risk the personality issues that have popped up around the Kansas State product during his NBA career. There is no doubting Beasley’s talent but he’s never exactly been a model citizen.

So far Minnesota has talked to the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets about the small forward and they continue to shop him around the league aggressively.

The Lakers would like to add an athletic wing player and Beasley fits the bill, but he would cause a big luxury tax hit and, again, he comes with a considerable amount of risk.

Los Angeles has a trade exception so the team wouldn’t have to send a player to Minnesota to make salaries work out, but the Timberwolves are asking for the best of the Lakers’ two first-round picks in this summer’s NBA draft. That deal has been rejected by Los Angeles.

The Lakers need to get younger fast, so they want to hold on to those picks if able.

The Boston Celtics are also said to be taking a long look at Beasley but they don’t possess a trade exception and would have to send something – most likely Jermaine O’Neal’s expiring contract – back in return.

The Lakers appear to be the best fit for Beasley, who is averaging 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game this year. He is also hitting 44.2 percent of his 3-point shots. The 23-year-old is 6’10 and best fits into a small forward role, which would mean he’d be an immediate upgrade for the Lakers who are in desperate need of bench scoring and accuracy from behind the 3-point line.

Last season Beasley started all 73 games he played and finally broke out, averaging a career high 19.2 points per game.

Beasley will almost certainly be moved before the NBA’s March 15 trade deadline. The Lakers are an obvious fit, but don’t expect general manager Mitch Kupchak to mortgage any key pieces to bring the forward to Los Angeles.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more on this developing story.

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