When the Chicago Bulls finally came to terms with veteran floor general and buyout target Patrick Beverley, the team’s objective for the final 23 games of the 2022-23 season became crystal clear. They may be nine games under .500 as of this writing, but it’s obviously playoffs or bust for the Bulls right now.
That said, the Windy City crew can’t simply add Beverley to their mix willy nilly. Rather, a roster spot will have to be cleared in order to make room for the 34-year-old, who averaged 6.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this season.
The conventional wisdom has been that Goran Dragic would be the one headed to the chopping block. In addition to having positional crossover with Beverley, the 15-year pro has slowed significantly and ceded more and more minutes to his backcourt mates as the year has gone on. Since December 30, Dragic is averaging just 3.5 points and 2.4 assists in 12.6 minutes per contest.
Despite the recent downturn, though, Bulls brass have apparently opted to go in a different direction where paving the way for Pat Bev’s arrival is concerned.
Report: Chicago Bulls Are Parting Ways With Tony Bradley to Make Room for Patrick Beverley
As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday, the Bulls are expected to waive big man Tony Bradley in conjunction with the Beverley signing. Bradley, 25, has appeared in 12 games for Chicago in 2022-23, averaging a career-low 2.8 MPG. As a result, he’s scored just 19 total points on 12 shot attempts.
The former first-round pick — who has also spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder during his six-year career — played a larger role for head coach Billy Donovan last season, appearing in 55 games and averaging 3.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 10.0 minutes per contest.
While Dragic remaining on the Bulls’ roster wasn’t the most obvious outcome here, the fact that Bradley was waived instead becomes more surprising given Marko Simonovic’s continued presence on the roster.
Despite the potential that some still see in him, Simonovic has barely been given an opportunity to play over his two years in Chicago, appearing in a grand total of 12 games and shuttling back and forth between the G League and the main roster at a breakneck pace along the way.
“He needs to go somewhere else,” an NBA team scouting director told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney earlier this month. “He should be with a rebuilding team where he can get some minutes and learn.”
Pat Bev Sounds Off on His Decision to Sign With Bulls
After confirming the news of his Bulls signing on Twitter, Beverley sounded off on his decision-making process on his show, The Pat Bev Podcast, noting that Chicago had some competition in securing his commitment.
“It was between Golden State and the Bulls,” Beverley said.
“Obviously, it’s always good to play with a lot of great talent in Golden State, but a lot of guards over there, you know. So I figured I could make a playoff push with the Bulls right now and kind of pump them up a little bit. The [Eastern Conference is] kind of weak. I’m excited, man. I’m excited.”