Cavaliers: Grading 5 free agent wings from ‘no way’ to ‘yes please’

Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets. Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images
Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets. Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Malik Beasley, Los Angeles Lakers. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images /

Malik Beasley – I don’t think so

There were certainly multiple reasons the Cleveland Cavaliers lost in five games to the New York Knicks in the playoffs this season, but the top reason was a lack of shooting on the wing. If the Cavaliers are going to play both Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen in crunch time of big games, they need a knockdown shooter at the 3 to unlock the offense.

Of all the players who may be available in free agency, Malik Beasley is right near the top in terms of movement shooting. He is a gunner who has never met a 3-point shot he doesn’t like, and his willingness to shoot will keep his defender glued to him off-ball.

The problem is that Beasley is not the knockdown shooter he appears to be. This past season he got up a solid 8.1 3-point attempts (11.3 per 36 minutes) but shot just 35.7 percent on those attempts. He has had a couple of elite shooting seasons, but also a few duds, and it brings up the problem with most movement shooters: if he goes cold and isn’t hitting shots, what does he bring to a team?

The gravity of Beasley is counter-balanced by his poor defense and lack of a game inside the arc. Beasley might space the court, but he will be hunted mercilessly on defense, and on a team with Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell they need someone who can help on defense. That’s not Beasley, and his shooting isn’t elite enough to make up for it.