“I’m on my way,” Beverley said during the ‘Pat Bev Podcast with Rone’ on April 18 when told that he was roughly $21 million away from $100 million in career earnings. “I got to get that. I mean, it’s only right. …You play this before because you love it. But then, after that, it’s real good to be compensated for something that you love to do too. So that’s always a blessing, man. I’m excited. It’s gonna be a good summer, man. I’m super excited I’m an unrestricted free agent. Hopefully, we’ll see what happens with the Bulls. But it’s a lot of a lot of people out there that might want that juice for their team. So I’m excited about that, I really am.”
So what is it going to cost to keep Beverley in town?
“My game hasn’t dropped so I don’t think my number that I make this year should drop,” Beverley said. “I’m at $13 [million on his last contract]. But the money does go up, so my 13 this year would become 15 next year.”
The Bulls landed Beverley on a one-year, $801 thousand contract with the Bulls after being traded to and waived by the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline. He officially joined the team after the All-Star break and helped spark a 14-9 run that helped them lock down the final spot in the Play-In Tournament and was a feather in the cap of executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas during his exit interview.
While who their opponents were certainly played a part in that, so did Beverley, their only significant addition since last offseason when they brought in Goran Dragic – who was waived to make room for Beverley after calling out the need for a starting point guard – and Andre Drummond in free agency.
Beverley also had an impact on the Bulls’ offense, taking ball-handling – and thus decision-making – duties off the plate of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. They ranked 24th before his addition and were top-15 afterward.
The 34-year-old Beverley averaged 5.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.0 steals with the Bulls and was voted the second-biggest trash talker by his peers, per The Athletic.
He also missed the playoffs for the first time in his NBA career this season.
Bulls Facing Coby White Conundrum
“Coby [White] is in a tough situation as an RFA,” tweeted Kevin Anderson of NBC Sports Chicago. “Bulls likely to wait to see what his market value is, but ultimately I think they re-sign or match any offer on Coby. Ayo [Dosunmu] similar but I think it’s less likely Ayo is on the Bulls next season, especially if Coby returns.”
Beverley’s arrival sent Dosunmu to the bench amid a turbulent second season.
He opened the campaign as the starting point guard but saw his production remain static or regress including playmaking and three-point shooting.
Both Dosunmu – a Chicago native – and White will be restricted free agents this offseason with the latter openly discussing his desire for a starting role and the team limited in resources to fill a few critical areas of need.
Belief in White’s ability to run point could determine Dosunmu’s future as well as Beverley’s.
All of this stems from the continuing absence of Lonzo Ball who is expected to be out for most of if not all of next season. The front office’s view of Ball’s future should also guide them, perhaps to a more sure-fire solution.
Bulls Floated as Damian Lillard Landing Spot
“If the Bulls want any chance to contend next season, they have to up their star power and fix their point guard position,” wrote Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report. “A megadeal for [Portland Trail Blazers star] Damian Lillard would solve both problems. If any single trade gets Chicago into the championship race next season, it’d be putting every trade chip on the table and nabbing Lillard.”
Lillard’s availability has not changed but there is as much speculation as ever that he and/or the Blazers could seek a new direction.
The Bulls might find themselves on the bottom tier of suitors if Lillard hit the market.
Then again, he turns 33 years old this summer, has dealt with injuries in each of the last two seasons, and is owed more than $216 million over the next two years. In that context, running it back with Beverley and/or White might be the Bulls’ most prudent course of action.