In a surprising turn of events, the Chicago Bulls are reportedly nearing an acquisition of Patrick Beverley from the buyout market on Monday. This marks a return home for the 34-year-old veteran, as he grew up in Chicago and attended John Marshall where he was named Co-Player of the Year as a senior in 2006.
The point guard has come a long way since then, playing at Arkansas in college, then spending stints in Ukraine, Greece, and Russia over three-and-a-half years. He then got his chance at the NBA, and Pat Bev has been a mainstay in the league ever since. This long journey has led him back to his hometown, where he will be playing for a team going through turmoil.
Beverley has not been on a team with a losing record for a full season since he came into the league, so it will be a big change for the veteran. Considering the direction in which the Chicago Bulls are going, as well as its roster construction, it will be interesting to see if and how Pat Bev will fit.
Acquiring Patrick Beverley was an interesting decision, but the veteran could prove to be a positive locker room influence for the Chicago Bulls.
Currently, the Bulls have no shortage of guards on its depth chart. So far this season, the main backcourt starters have been Zach LaVine and Ayo Dosunmu, with Alex Caruso and Coby White providing sparks off the bench. Additionally, the Bulls have 36-year-old Goran Dragic taking some minutes as well as rookie Dalen Terry, who is a combo guard/forward.
Additionally, the Bulls have Lonzo Ball on the roster, but it remains to be seen whether the point guard will return in the near future. Considering the abundance of guards that Chicago currently has on the roster, it is interesting to see the front office sign another guard. However, the Bulls will have to waive a player to get Pat Bev, and that could be Dragic to free up some backcourt minutes.
Adding onto the somewhat suspicious rationale of the pickup, Patrick Beverley’s top point of value lies in his defensive intensity. However, the Chicago Bulls already have a player that fits that mold exceptionally in Alex Caruso. Additionally, Caruso was labeled as untouchable by the Bulls’ front office ahead of the trade deadline, which shows how much he is valued by the organization. Considering this potential redundancy of having two defensive-oriented players, it may not have been the most effective move to send the Bulls into a better position.
With this being said, Patrick Beverley has the potential to bring a fire to the Bulls that they have not truly gotten yet. Defensive effort like this is why Pat Bev has been able to stay in the league for so long, and why he is so coveted despite his offensive struggles.
This effort is something that can revitalize a team, and this combined with his veteran leadership could be beneficial for the franchise as a whole.
One of Beverley’s main concerns has been on the offensive side of the ball, where he has struggled to score at times. Pat Bev tends to struggle with his scoring efficiency inside the arc, but he has been surprisingly strong from three-point range. There was a period of six years where Beverley shot above 38% from beyond the arc each year, even reaching 40% in some seasons. This high-quality shooting has dipped a bit over the last season-and-a-half, where the point guard is shooting around 34.5% from long distance. This dip shows that he is not quite where he used to be in terms of scoring, but he has demonstrated strong shooting in the past. Therefore, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he finds his shot again.
When looking at the pros and cons of the Chicago Bulls’ acquisition of Patrick Beverley, it is important to note that while he does bring strong defense and leadership to the table, he may not be the best fit for the Bulls right now. The team currently has plenty of guards on the roster including Caruso, who currently fills Beverley’s role of defensive stopper.
Additionally, the Bulls may be trending in the direction of a rebuild, and it may not be a mutual benefit for the Bulls and a player like Beverley who is likely hoping to add a championship ring to his resume. Hopefully, his presence as a vocal leader both on the court and the bench can prove impactful enough to offset any concerns about his fit on the roster.