The Chicago Bulls are headed into the NBA’s All-Star break in a tie for the eighth-seed in the Eastern Conference and in obvious need of some roster upgrades. Primarily on the defensive end of the ball, which is why they’ve been tied to names like Lonzo Ball, or Andre Drummond most recently.
But Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley has proposed a new name for the Bulls to consider: Chicago native, and LA Clippers starting point guard Patrick Beverley:
The Bulls might be able to stand pat and still sneak into the playoffs. Butfor them to actually matter in the postseason, they need to improve their roster at both ends. Chicago native Patrick Beverley might be up for he task, and if the Los Angeles Clippers add a point guard, he might be available, too.
The 32-year old guard is averaging 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists as a member of the Clippers starting five this season. He’s also knocking down a career-high 42 percent of his 4.1 attempts from behind-the-arc.
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Any Deal for Beverley Will Have to Involve Another Team
As it stands, there’s no deal between LA and Chicago for Beverley that makes sense for both parties. The veteran guard is on the books for $13.3 million this season and an even higher $14.3 million for 2021-2022.
Would the Clippers accept Tomas Satoransky? His $10-million salary for next season is only guaranteed at five-million, provided that he is waived by June 30th. But even then, that makes little sense for an LA team that’s looking to upgrade the position, and chase a championship this season.
So, if there is to be a deal that sees Patrick Beverley end up on the Bulls, it’s likely to involve a third team, if not a fourth as well. The Clippers have been linked to the Toronto Raptors, simply based on Kawhi Leonard’s championship run next to Kyle Lowry, but don’t have anything that would interest them.
Perhaps Chicago could enter the field as a team in the middle, shipping out someone like Lauri Markkanen to a young, somewhat rebuilding Raptors team. Beverley in exchange for the 23-year old isn’t the worst return, but still might be a hard sell not only to the fanbase but members of the front office as well.
Lowry isn’t the only available upgrade for LA, but he makes the most sense. Perhaps another team would emerge to help facilitate such a complicated trade, but a Beverley deal isn’t happening straight-up between the Clippers and Bulls.
Beverley Would Bring Much Needed Experience to Chicago
Patrick Beverley has played 1,217 minutes over 42 playoff game appearances since 2012.
That would lead the current Chicago Bulls if not for Thaddeus Young, who’s played 1,490 minutes over 51 games.
But if you remove the veteran forward from the equation, the rest of this roster has appeared in 83 playoff games combined, largely shouldered by longtime journeyman Garrett Temple and Otto Porter Jr.
In this sense, Beverley makes a world of sense for Chicago. The 32-year old, alongside Young in the closing minutes of playoff games would give the Bulls two capable and qualified defensive stoppers in an environment that can’t be properly explained or prepared for without having experienced it first.
Whether Beverley himself or not, Buckley is correct in assuming the archetype of player this Bulls front office should target at the trade deadline. Headed into the All-Star break, Chicago is ranked 21st in Defensive Rating, and 22nd in both steals and blocks per game, per NBA.com.