Bulls Step Up Pursuit of Potential Lonzo Ball Replacement

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls

Getty Lonzo Ball #2 of the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls aren’t limiting themselves in their hunt for a replacement for injured point guard Lonzo Ball from a list of bargain-bin candidates.

They have already been heavily linked to former

Patrick Beverley’s camp and the Bulls also have had conversations, a source said, after the Marshall High product reached agreement on a buyout from the Orlando Magic,” reports NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson.

Beverley, a Chicago native, was traded to the Magic by the Los Angeles Lakers along with cash considerations for center Mo Bamba at the trade deadline. The 34-year-old point guard was averaging 6.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists this season before the deal and was always unlikely to play for the 23-34 Magic who sit 13th in the Eastern Conference.

Orlando waived the 11th-year NBA man on February 12.

The outspoken Beverley has been a part of the last five postseasons, a streak he could look to extend with the Bulls who are looking for some help at the guard position.

Bulls Looking for Lonzo Ball Replacement

“They have been active on the marketplace trying to get a guard and see can they get some help to this group,” Shams Charania of The Athletic told ‘Waddle & Silvy’ on ESPN 1000 on February 3.

The Bulls have been without starting point guard Lonzo Ball since before last year’s All-Star break and their attempts to address the issue have fallen short.

Chicago has also been linked with buyout candidate Russell Westbrook with Chris Haynes reporting on the ‘#thisleague UNCUT’ podcast on February 13 that they had made contact, though Beverley’s availability could play a big factor with only 26 games remaining and the Bulls mired in a three-game skid.

Beverley is not the floor general the Bulls need and there are questions about his overall fit.

The Lakers were 2.0 points per 100 possessions better with Beverley off the floor than on it.

But, despite shooting just over 34% from beyond the arc this season, he is shooting nearly 41% on pull-up threes albeit on extremely limited volume. He also plays with a level of competitiveness that has far too often escaped this Bulls team in a trying season.

There is said to be mutual interest between Beverley and the Minnesota Timberwolves in a reunion but Haynes’ co-host, Marc Stein of the Stein Line, reported that was not the case.

The Bulls Need a Sparkplug

Part of the Bulls’ issues, per head coach Billy Donovan, has been their lack of fight in critical moments – those times when other teams punch them in the mouth. His calls have seemed to fall on deaf ears with similar results in each of the last three games and there have even been some clashes with two-time All-Star Zach LaVine.

That is part of why he has commended the mercurial Westbrook for referencing their time together and is certainly not something that should be lacking were they to sign Beverley.

Since Beverley was waived rather than securing a buyout, he will receive the full remainder of his $13 million salary whereas a buyout involves a player giving back some of the money. How that impacts his or Westbrook’s decision remains to be seen.

Both Beverley and Westbrook seem to have plenty of options available to them.