Bulls Starter: Change of Scenery ‘Highly Likely’ This Offseason

Chicago Bulls

Getty Head coach Billy Donovan of the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls went 14-9 down the stretch of the regular season, a point of fact that executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas harped on in his exit interview on April 15 via the Bulls’ YouTube channel.

Chicago native Patrick Beverley arrived right as the Bulls went on that run, starting all 22 of his appearances. Given the team’s needs, would seem like a good bet to return next season.

But Beverley may have other plans, calling a return to the Houston Rockets “highly likely”.

“That was one of my first decisions when I got traded from the Lakers — Houston was one of my [options],” Beverley said on the ‘Pat Bev Podcast with Rone’ on May 23. “But they told me, ‘Pat, we don’t need you right now. You might not play. We need you mentoring young guys.’”

Houston finished the regular season with the second-worst record in the NBA one year after having the worst record overall.

Beverley instead opted to join his hometown Bulls and, while he still embraced a leadership and mentoring role with the younger players, he got to do it in a competitive environment.

Beverley and the Bulls failed to extend his streak of postseason appearances and prevented Chicago from starting their own after snapping a five-year drought last season.

The 34-year-old Beverley could be rejoining former Rockets teammate James Harden.

The two were teammates on the Rockets for five seasons from when the former first broke into the league in 2012-13 through the 2016-17 campaign. Beverley even claims to have been the one who taught Harden the value of the stepback.

“There was a time when he wasn’t even shooting step-backs,” Beverley said during a previous episode of the show that aired on March 22. “I hit him, maybe a year ago, ‘Hey, remember when you asked me why I keep stepping back?’ He [said], ‘Aw, yeah. You was on to something…That’s brodie. That’s the bro, man.”

Those Rockets teams went to the playoffs every season they were together even reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2014-15.

Beverley also cited former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka as part of Houston’s appeal.

Rockets Can Meet Patrick Beverley’s Salary Expectations

The Rockets enter the offseason with more than $48 million in cap space; $35 million more than anyone else when factoring in commitments for next season, per Spotrac. That means they could feasibly go after Harden, possibly one other star – Brooklyn Nets forward Cameron Johnson has been floated as a possibility – and be able to pay Beverley his desired salary next season.

He has set that number between $13 million (the value of the contract he was waived from) and $15 million which he said could depend on the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement.

That alone figured to make negotiations with the Bulls more difficult than they might have hoped and is only heightened by Houston being a real threat to lure him away.

Patrick Beverley Maintaining L.A. Ties

Beverley is also not quite ready to let Los Angeles go completely despite having now been traded by both the Clippers and Lakers in his career.

He has listed his California residence – purchased while a member of the Clippers – for rent.

“Beverley recently put his Encino, CA, luxury spread up for rent,” wrote Kellie Speed of Realtor.com on May 23. “ Listed for a staggering $23,000 a month…Beverley bought the home in April 2021 for $3.78 million.”