2. Patrick Beverley
After the Los Angeles Lakers cut Patrick Beverley from their roster last season, the veteran point guard was seen as little more than a consolation prize for the Bulls. At the very least, the hometown kid would hopefully make games a little more entertaining as Chicago limped back into the draft lottery.
I doubt anyone expected what happened next, as Beverley led the Bulls surging back into the playoff picture, finishing the season on a 14-9 run. Despite very clearly not being the best player on the roster, Beverley was still a leader in the sense he demanded a great deal of respect from his peers on the roster and brought an edge of mental toughness that the rest of the team seemed to lack so dearly.
It will be difficult for the Bulls to replace Patrick Beverley’s locker room presence.
On paper, the recently-signed free agent guard Jevon Carter is superior to Beverley at nearly every aspect of the game. He should absolutely be an improvement at the point, as he brings the same defensive intensity and three-point shooting that made Pat such a valuable asset to Chicago in the first place.
But the one trait of Beverley’s that no one can replicate is his personality. Even if he was never going to be a starter for the Bulls again, I wouldn’t have minded having a player like him around in the locker room and in the practice gym. We’ve already seen how great of an impact DeMar DeRozan has had on the Bulls’ young core, so Beverley’s presence as a vocal leader would have just been icing on the cake.