Patrick Beverley averaged 7.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.9 steals and, 0.6 blocks per game last season as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. The former two-time member of the All-Defensive teams has made a living hounding the opposition’s best players since entering the league in 2012. His defense on Kevin Durant in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs this past season helped secure him a three-year deal with the Clippers worth $40 million, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Beverley was able to play in 78 games last season after being limited to just 11 during the 2017-18 season, after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee.
“I like to go out there, put my game on the line, and that’s more than just talking,” Beverley said in August, per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. “I’m feeling really, really strong, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life, and we’re going to see soon.”
Beverley’s approach to his game on the defensive end has garnered comparison to another defensive point guard in Hall of Famer Gary Payton. Like Beverley, Payton had no problem guarding the best player on opposing teams and did plenty of trash-talking as he was disrupting their offensive scheme. Payton is also the only point guard in NBA history to be named the Defensive Player of the Year, earning the honor after the 1995-96 season.
Back in April, NBA analyst Brandon Robinson tweeted Shaquille O’Neal on Inside the NBA, stating that “Patrick Beverley is a modern-day Gary Payton.”
Also, back in April, Sacramento Kings assistant coach Bobby Jackson thought the same thing about Beverley as he “reminded him of a mini Gary Payton.”
Gary Payton Responds to Being Compared to Patrick Beverley
Earlier this summer, I interviewed Payton and asked him about being compared to Patrick Beverley.
“I’ll take that! That is my little youngster and love him a lot, and going to work with him a lot. So, you guys will see me at a lot of Clippers games now that you mentioned it. So, yeah, has that dog in him and I like him. I was watching film on him yesterday to watch things that he could do or change on defense, and we are going to work that. I don’t care about the offense; its, not the same he has two players that are going to be really high profile on offense with Paul and Kawhi.
So, I think if he can average 12 to 14 points, I think it will be really good. I think he should focus on trying to win Defensive Player of the Year because I am the only one ever to win it, and he should focus on trying to become the second one, and I think he can do it.” Payton stated.
This past offseason, the Clippers were able to add both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Kawhi Leonard signed a three-year deal worth $103 million with the Clippers. The contract is aligned with Paul George’s, who was acquired in a three-player deal that sent Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and a variety of picks to Oklahoma City.
Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer and Clippers GM Lawrence Frank Weigh-in on Trade for Paul George
“The deal we made for Paul George? That’s a kind of ‘gulp’ deal,” Ballmer told The Los Angeles Times. “‘Are we in on this thing? People say, do owners make decisions? Well, everybody’s got to be lined up on a decision like that. I’m super happy with where we are.”
Lawrence Frank had plenty of praise to go around, specifically showing love to Paul George’s ability on both ends of the floor.
“Paul George is one of the greatest two-way players in our game,” said Frank. “He is both an elite scorer, and a relentless defender who’s versatility elevates any team. When you have the opportunity to acquire a contributor of his caliber, you do what it takes to bring him home. Paul is a native of the Los Angeles area and an ideal fit for the Clippers, thanks to his selflessness and drive. Following the lead of Steve Ballmer, we have plotted an aggressive course to build a championship contender, and acquiring Paul is a critical step.”
Last season, George averaged 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game as a member of the Thunder, all career-highs.