In the midst of a column primarily about struggling point guard Kris Dunn, and the Chicago Bulls’ need at the position, The Athletic writer Darnell Mayberry included a paragraph on the Bulls’ interest in Clippers’ point guard Patrick Beverley. Mayberry says that Beverley has become a “chic name”, and “fits everything the team needs”. Strong words from a guy who is very plugged into the Bulls.
Pat Beverley is already on record as saying that he’s going to “enjoy being a free agent”. He’s going to be 31 years old this summer, has already had a major injury, and has never had a big free agency contract. He absolutely should “get his” this summer, and no Clippers’ fans should be mad at him for the decision he makes. Pat deserves to take care of himself and his family, first and foremost.
And there is a lot to like about Pat going to the Bulls. Most importantly, he’s a Chicago kid, born and raised, and is extremely proud of where he’s from. Playing at United Center in front of Bulls fans would certainly be a dream come true for Pat. On the court, the Bulls have lots of young talent for Pat to mentor, from Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen to Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison. They also have a gaping hole at point guard — as Mayberry writes, Dunn has not panned out as a point guard so far, and their other options are bottom-end rotation players at best. Beverley would fill a void both on the court and in the locker room, and the Bulls could really use him.
On the flip side, the Bulls were bad last season. Really, really bad. And sure, having a full season of Otto Porter will help, as would internal improvement from the young guys. And Pat will help a lot too, obviously. But even with the most optimistic of predictions, even with Pat and other decent free agent additions, the Bulls project as a low-level playoff team next season at the very best. Pat is 31 and wants a last, big contract, but he’s also one of the most competitive guys in the NBA, and has to desire a winning situation too. The Bulls might offer that in a couple years, but it’s unclear if Beverley would want to burn what remains of his prime on a losing team.
The Bulls, barring the drafting of a top young point guard like Darius Garland and Coby White, or the acquisition of a star such as Mike Conley, will almost certainly in the Pat Beverley market. And Pat will probably at least have some interest in them. There will be tons of teams that will want Pat this summer, and the Clippers certainly seem to have some stiff competition for retaining his services.