Patrick Beverley is coming home. On an episode of “The Pat Bev Podcast” released Tuesday, the guard confirmed that he is returning to the Windy City and will join the Chicago Bulls. The team also announced Beverley’s signing, as expected.
“I get to take my son to school. I get to take my son and my baby girl to school,” he said from vacation in Paris. “I get to pick ’em up. I get to rep my city on my chest, proudly. If you think I went hard for other teams, just imagine how I’m gonna go hard for this one.”
So what does this acquisition mean? Can Beverley actually help this team, or is he just another fallen star relegated to seeking employment through the buyout market? And can a player picked up this late in the game really change the course of a team’s season?
Judging the success of a transaction before you see the product on the court is never wise, but if you are to partake in such an endeavor, the best course of action is to analyze how X player shores up X team’s weaknesses and amplifies their strengths.
Patrick Beverley was deciding between Bulls and Warriors
Beverley revealed that his free agency decision was between the Bulls and the Golden State Warriors. He said he did give the Warriors serious consideration, but that they were waiting until after All-Star weekend to finalize their offer. The Bulls, on the other hand, were ready to embrace their hometown star.
“(The Warriors) kept it real with me, ‘We don’t want you to wait, Pat. If it’s opportunities you want to take, go ahead. We respect it. We know there’s a lot of teams after you,'” he said. “I felt like Bulls were the best fit. I appreciate Golden State. I appreciate the opportunity that was there if it was there. It worked out the way it was supposed to. God’s plan.”
Gut-wrenching breakdowns like the one suffered against Indiana have become a regularity for this iteration of the Bulls. Beverley provides a calming veteran presence who can help steady this team before they get into full-on self-implosion mode.
More consequential than their late-game blunders, Chicago currently takes and makes the lowest number of three-pointers in the NBA. An archaic halfcourt scheme is partially to blame for this outcome, but most of this falls on the shoulders of their personnel. This season, six of their top-10 players in total minutes played average less than three three-point attempts per game.
The three-ball is what’s really been killing them during this six-game skid. In that stretch, the Bulls are 30th in makes per game (7.5), 25th in attempts (28.3), and 30th in percentage (26.5%). It doesn’t take a statistician to see that their lack of perimeter shot-making is putting them at a major mathematical disadvantage (you know, because three is greater than two).
Beverley helps bring the odds back in their favor a bit. After a slow start, he’s been red hot from downtown since December 1st – converting on 39.6% of his 3.7 threes per game. For his career, he’s a 37.6% three-point shooter on 4.1 attempts per game.
One of the few bright spots in the Bulls’ season has been their defense. They are currently seventh in defense rating, despite not rostering an elite anchor in the middle. We talked about how something like this is possible in our Miami Heat breakdown, but we’ll give you a quick recap right now in case you missed it.
When you don’t have a great rim protector, you are ill-equipped to deal with trespassers on the interior. So, you need to make sure those trespassers never get in the paint in the first place. You need to build your barrier around the perimeter.
Room for Patrick Beverley in Chicago
Bulls guard Lonzo Ball has not played this season due to a lingering knee injury and the team announced Tuesday that he will sit out the rest of the 2022-23 campaign, which leaves space for Beverley to step in. He said he’s excited to unite with DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic as they push for the playoffs.
“I’m shooting 40 (percent) over the last couple months,” he said. “Actually playing some of my best basketball. Put up the numbers, my numbers right now are better than my numbers in Minnesota last season.”
Beverley said he was catching a flight back to the United States as soon as possible, was expecting to take his physical Wednesday and was eyeing suiting up for Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets in front of his home crowd.
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