The Chicago Bulls are 3-1 in the four games they’ve played since they inked Patrick Beverley.
The Bulls signed the 34-year-old veteran point guard with the hopes of adding a spark on both sides of the ball, and while it’s early, it seems to have worked. Prior to Pat Bev’s arrival, the Bulls had lost six games in a row, but in his first two games with the team, they won with noticeably better defense.
Chicago allowed just 87 and 82 points in its wins over the Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards, Beverley’s first games in a Bulls uniform.
Upon his arrival, Beverley made it known he planned on being vocal in a good way, vowing to call out his teammates if he didn’t see appropriate focus or hustle. “You know me, I’m going to be on Zach LaVine’s ass,” Beverley said on his February 21 podcast. “I’m gonna give him all the energy he needs. Destroy people. Me and DeMar DeRozan, we good. I got a popping five in (center Nikola) Vucevic. I’m excited, I’m really excited.”
One Bulls insider recently revealed not everyone on the team is happy about Beverley’s ways of communicating, however.
Joe Cowley: Nikola Vucevic Isn’t ‘Thrilled’ About Pat Bev’s ‘Tone’
Vucevic, who has been a rock in the middle for the Bulls since he came to the Windy City via trade in March of 2021, isn’t really vibing with Pat Bev’s vocal leadership style according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to Cowley, Vooch didn’t appreciate the way Beverley spoke to him after a play in Chicago’s 117-115 win over the Detroit Pistons on March 1. Pistons guard Jaden Ivey cut to the basket with just under six minutes remaining in the game, hitting an easy layup. Vucevic was lined up in the low post, but neglected to move over to protect the rim and help on defense, which allowed an eassy score for Ivey.
“Beverley started getting on Vucevic about how he should’ve played it, and the two had words. DeMar DeRozan had to step in and play peacemaker,” Cowley wrote on March 2.
Here’s a look at the play:
“According to a source close to the situation, Vucevic hasn’t been thrilled with some of the recent finger-pointing, and this wasn’t the first time he was unhappy with the tone directed at him and other teammates,” Cowley reported, also adding:
“While the source said it wasn’t just a ‘Beverley-Vooch thing,’ it does put the team’s leadership hierarchy in question. And it’s not the first time that has been questioned this season. Goran Dragic, who was released this week, went public about the team understanding sacrifice and accountability. Not just talking about it with each other, but actually doing it.”
Vooch & Beverley Could Both Be Gone Next Season
Vooch is averaging a double-double this season, netting 17.7 points and 11.3 rebounds a game. He has started 63 games for Chicago this year, playing 33.8 minutes a game and shooting 34.9% from beyond the arc (stats via ESPN). He’s set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, though, and he may not be willing to re-sign with Chicago if he has a bad taste in his mouth after the season ends.
Beverley’s time with the Bulls will be up after the 2022-23 season, as he was added on the buyout market for the remainder of the year only. It remains to be seen whether he’ll land back in Chicago.
Whether there’s any truth to Cowley’s report or not, if the Bulls keep winning with Beverley in the starting lineup, the Pat Bev Effect is going to be difficult to deny.