Looking ahead to the offseason, the Chicago Bulls have plenty of decisions to make regarding the future outlook of this team. Although Derrick Jones Jr. recently opted into his player option for next season, the Bulls have six key rotation players from last season’s roster hitting free agency. Among those, Patrick Beverley‘s interest in rejoining the team for next season is possibly the hardest to predict of all.
Joining the Bulls after being bought out by the Lakers, Beverley came in and had an immediate impact on this team with his mental edge and leadership, propelling the Bulls to a 14-9 record following the All-Star Break. Although he’s set to turn 35 before the start of next season and we can no longer reasonably expect him to have the on-court impact he once did, it may still be worth bringing him back to help the younger players on this team develop.
To get that conversation started, he’ll need to be willing to take less money and a smaller role than he’s likely hoping for. That alone is reason enough to be skeptical about Beverley’s odds of making a return, but I don’t blame anyone for hoping Pat’s connections to Chicago would be enough to sway him to stay.
Beverley certainly isn’t ignorant of his age and what it means for his time left in the league either, it seems, based on his recent comments on his self-titled Pat Bev Podcast. He indicated his intentions to secure one last big payday this summer, projecting himself to be worth a contract in the range of $13-$15 million annually.
If Patrick Beverley is intent on getting a big payday or joining a contender, we may have just witnessed his last game on the Chicago Bulls.
I highly doubt I’m alone in my belief here that paying that exorbitant price tag to retain Beverley would not be worth it, especially after his poor play-in tournament performance. As much as social media enjoyed crowning Beverley as the play-in tournament GOAT, the reality of the situation is that his 5 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds on 1-for-9 shooting across two play-in tournament games simply did not justify his 53 combined minutes of playtime on the court.
In fact, one of the biggest criticisms head coach Billy Donovan received after the loss against the Heat regarded his decision to pull Coby White out in favor of an offensive non-factor like Beverley. Coby, Alex Caruso, and Ayo Dosunmu (if he re-signs) all present very solid alternative options to fill the void left by Beverley should he move on. Chicago has no real reason to bid against itself and pay a premium to keep Beverley in town.
That being said, if the market for Pat’s services isn’t there and he has to lower his asking price, then the Bulls still aren’t exactly in the clear to bring Beverley back for another year. After finishing the season 40-42, it would be foolish to consider the Bulls as championship contenders at this point in time. If he’s already taking less money than he desires, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Beverley bolt to another roster that has a more realistic chance of contending for a championship.
I can’t exactly fault him for that decision, either. A ring would really solidify Beverley’s resume and cap off his underdog story. Until he makes an official decision, however, it seems Pat is keeping his options open. He’s already let it be known how much playing for the Chicago Bulls means to him at every given opportunity, and he has continued to shower Billy Donovan with praise even when it isn’t necessary.
Now that Lonzo Ball has been confirmed to likely be missing the entirety of the 2023-24 season, it makes sense for the Chicago Bulls to continue stocking up on much guard depth as they can. I hope for our sake that they at least reconvene with Beverley to discuss a new contract at a reasonable price, as he has proven his ability to help the players on this roster realize their full potential.
With limited money to spend, Beverley will still be one of the best options on the market available to Chicago. Whether or not he’s interested in taking less money to come off the bench for the Bulls, well, that much remains to be seen. Knowing Pat, however, he’ll continue to bet on himself, just like he always has.