Hours after failing to land their top target on the buyout market, the Chicago Bulls have come to terms on a deal with veteran point guard and Chicago native, Patrick Beverley who was waived by the Orlando Magic shortly after being traded by the Los Angeles Lakers for center Mo Bamba at the deadline.
“I’m going to be taking my talents back home,” Beverley said on ‘The Pat Bev Podcast with Rone‘ on the Barstool Network. “It was between [the Golden State Warriors] and the Bulls. Obviously, it’s always good to play with a lot of great talent in Golden State. But [there are] a lot of guards over there. So I figured I could make a playoff push with the Bulls right now and kind of pump them up a little bit. The East kind of weak. I’m excited, man. I’m excited…I get to rep my city on my chest, like proudly.”
This is a deal that is a long time in the making with the Bulls showing interest in the John Marshall High School product several times since he entered the league in 2013.
K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago interviewed Beverley for the Chicago Tribune in 2019.
“I am Chicago,” he said. “I’m from Chicago. I bleed Chicago. I really think I can help the city. I think I can save the city. “I inspire already. And I’d be a great inspiration just walking around the city of Chicago, knowing I’m from there, knowing that someone made it out and you can go and do the same.”
Beverley ultimately re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers that offseason. The boisterous veteran shared his reaction to the news of his homecoming — first reported by ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski — on Twitter.
Beverley, 34, averaged 6.4 points on 54.8% true shooting with 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in nearly 27 minutes per game for L.A while knocking down 34.8% of his threes, though he has shot as high as 40% from deep multiple times in his career.
He has played for four other franchises after being drafted in the second round (42nd overall) out of the University of Arkansas by the Lakers in 2009. Beverley would spend three seasons playing overseas before signing to play with the Houston Rockets G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The 6-foot-1 Beverley averaged 13.7 points in three G League games before getting called up and the rest is history.
Signing with Bulls Puts Patrick Beverley’s Streak at Risk
For one thing, Beverley has missed the postseason just twice in his previous 10 seasons and not once since 2018.
It’s a trend that saw him help snap a three-year playoff drought with the Minnesota Timberwolves just last season and surely the Bulls are hoping continues after they snapped their five–year slump last season and had greater expectations this season.
“I feel like any team I’m on, I can help take that team to the playoffs,” Beverley said per Johnson in 2019. “Just me, my attitude, what I bring defensively, my grit and grind, my ability to playmake, rebound and make shots, the leader I am, I’m excited to see what door opens.”
Those expectations may need to be adjusted. The Bulls sit 11th in the Eastern Conference and, more importantly, two games outside of the Play-In Tournament field. Beverley will certainly have his work cut out for him in what should be a fairly prominent role.
Patrick Beverley’s Impact on Ayo Dosunmu
That endorsement from Mark Schanowski of the ‘Gimme The Hot Sauce’ podcast comes with a fair warning for some of the current Bulls.
“Beverley will take minutes from all the players who have been getting time at PG,” Schanowski tweeted highlighting Ayo Dosunmu, Alex Caruso, and Coby White. Veteran Goran Dragic is also in that mix and could be even more of a buyout candidate himself after this signing since he was already seeing inconsistent minutes.
Caruso’s impact is great but it is not as a lead guard first; it is as a defender and hustle playmaker. White is in the final year of his contract and, while he seems to be a more well-rounded player, he is likely out of chances to be the Bulls’ point guard.
Dosunmu, also a Chicago native, is the most interesting of the bunch.
A second-round pick himself (38th overall in 2021), Dosunmu earned playing time last season for showing well amid a slew of injuries and wound up leading the team in total appearances.
“Expect [Beverley] to claim the starting job from the start,” speculates Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “After an encouraging rookie season, Dosunmu has yet to take a sizable jump in year 2. That opens the door for Beverley to assume control of the team.”
Lonzo Ball’s season is all but officially wrapped with Johnson previously reporting that he is still not running or cutting more than a year after he was initially sidelined with a torn meniscus.
Dosunmu’s 9.5 points and 3.1 rebounds are both improvements. But his 2.8 assists are a step back as is his 58% true shooting mark and 32.4% mark from three. He has already been removed from the starting lineup once.
But Dosunmu has flashed enough that he shouldn’t suffer for the team adding Beverley. As useful as they might hope the veteran is, they need to see all they can from Dosunmu.