Lakers better with Beasley?

Dissecting the proposed swap between L.A., Minnesota and Portland

Originally Published: March 15, 2012
By John Hollinger |

No matter what the Portland Trail Blazers do at the trade deadline, it will be perceived as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. But they would be making a solid deal by trading Jamal Crawford to Minnesota for a first-round pick and Luke Ridnour as part of a three-way swap that also would send Michael Beasley to the Lakers.

The proposed trade would help Portland in three ways. First, the Blazers would get something for a player who is leaving. Crawford has played fairly well with the Blazers, and they would miss his shot-creation skills with the second unit. But he has an opt-out clause in his contract that he'll use after the season, and Portland is likely to use its cap space and go in a different direction anyway -- especially given the crowd at its wing positions and Crawford's discomfort with playing the point regularly.