Patrick Beverley has been a premier NBA backcourt defender over the course of his seven year career. Spending his first five seasons in Houston and last two with the Clippers, he finally has the opportunity to dictate where he goes next. The 31 year old point guard, has established himself as a polarizing, “tough as nails” type of player that fans either love or hate.
Beverley grew up and played his high school basketball in Chicago, before attending the University of Arkansas. He played two strong seasons there, earning SEC freshman of the year and second team all SEC honors in 2007. The next year was even better as he was in the conversation for the Wooden and Naismith awards after leading his team in rebounds, steals, and three-point efficiency. After a successful two years of college basketball he decided to turn pro, signing a one-year deal with Dnipro, a team in the Ukrainian basketball league (UBL). He again had a lot of success on the court, winning the UBL dunk contest and being named to the UBL all-star team, averaging 16.7 ppg, 7 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.2 spg and 1.3 bpg.
The next year he entered the NBA draft and was selected by the Lakers with the 42nd pick in the 2009 draft. The next day he was sent to the Heat for a 2011 second round pick and cash considerations, before eventually being cut and signing with Olympiacos Piraeus, a Greek team, a few months later. While in Greece, he was apart of a fantastic Olympiacos team who not only won the Greek League title, but also advanced all the way to the EuroLeague finals.
These two seasons overseas were enough to get him a summer league contract with the Miami Heat, but he was again cut after playing the summer league season and appearing in two preseason games. He again took his talents overseas, signing with Spartan St. Petersburg in the Russian Super League. He then quickly signed a three-year extension with the team only 5 months after originally signing. While in Russia he won EuroCup MVP, leading Spartak to the semi-final game. A year later he began to gain attention from the NBA and signed a 3-year year deal worth just under 2 million dollars, with the Rockets.
He quickly made his NBA debut after only a week with their D-League affiliate and finished the regular season playing in 41 games. His first start came later that year in game 2 of their first round of the playoffs against the OKC Thunder, who they eventually fell to in six games. He spent the next four years with the Rockets but was plagued by injuries in each of those seasons. Over the course of the next four seasons he had to miss substantial time due to, hand, wrist, ankle, and knee injuries. He still managed to make himself valuable by having success when he was able to play and earned himself a four-year, $23 million deal, after his third season with his Rockets. However, he only played his next two seasons with the Rockets before being traded to the Clippers in the summer of 2017, in a deal that included, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Lou Williams, and a 2018 first round pick, for Chris Paul.
He finished out the last two seasons of his contract with the Clippers and is coming off a year where he averaged, 7.6 ppg, 2.8 apg, .9 spg, and 27.4 minutes a game on 49 starts. He’s been a respected player in the NBA for awhile now but it wasn’t until this years playoffs that he was really able to raise his stock. He displayed his toughness and grit with a tenacious performance in the opening round of the Western Conference Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. His pesky style of defense, especially when defending Kevin Durant, and offensive efficiency started to earn him more and more national attention as the Clippers pushed the series to six games, before eventually falling to this years NBA runner-ups.
For the first time in his career he now can control his next destination, and his defensive toughness combined with his shooting and passing abilities allow him to have multiple options. As of right now, its a 5-team race for Beverley, with the Clippers, Bulls, Hawks and Lakers all expressing interest in the 6’1 point guard.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers want Beverley back. He was a fan favorite and locker room leader. However, the Clippers number one objective this offseason is to sign two max-contract players, which may force them to let him go in order to make enough room for two of the available superstar free agents. They also may have to offer him a role coming off the bench which could be less appealing to him than “day-1 starter” roles that could be offered to him by Chicago, Dallas, or Atlanta.
The Bulls will be looking for a Kris Dunn upgrade this offseason, and Patrick Beverley could be a strong candidate for the position. Chicago also has added appeal for Beverley as it is most players childhood dream to end up playing for their hometown team. He acknowledged this in an interview stating, “I’m a Chicago kid. So of course I’m open to playing for the Chicago Bulls if that’s a team that’s interested in me.” But followed it up with, “At the same time, any decision that is made, it’s never personal. It’s always business. I have to make the right decision for me and my family.” Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see what role the home town effect has on his free agency.
The Hawks are searching for a backcourt complement to Trae Young this offseason. Patrick Beverley is a top candidate to fill that role as he is a premier defender, yet won’t demand touches, which belong to Young.
With all the fire-power in the West, the Mavs took this first step towards being real competitors, with the mid-season trade for Kristaps Porzingis earlier this year. However, they had to give up Dennis Smith Jr. and will have to replace him this offseason. They need a playmaking point guard that can complement Luka and Kristaps and that can defend against the many talented western conference backcourts. Beverley appears to fill both needs perfectly. However, the Mavs could lean towards signing a bigger name to fill that role, such as Kemba Walker, due to their available max contract.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have also recently expressed interest in Patrick Beverley. Beverley could fill the hole that Lonzo Ball left after the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis, especially with Rajon Rondo hitting the free agent market as well. Beverley has expressed interest in the Lakers as well, calling it an “exciting” possibility to play alongside Lebron and AD.
As the offseason continues it’ll be interesting to see which teams begin, continue, and stop pursuing Beverley. He is an established veteran point guard that makes up for his lack of size and foul trouble with grit and efficiency on both sides of the ball. Although each team has their own motivations and reasonings for their pursuit of Beverley he has made it clear that money will play the largest role in where he ends up as he will try and “secure my family’s future.”