Last season, Patrick Beverley was the beating heart of the Clippers. There were better players (Lou Williams) and a budding star at his position (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander), but Beverley was the motivator, the guy who didn’t take a night off and didn’t let his teammates either. He pushed the Clippers into the playoffs and then got under Kevin Durant‘s skin once there. A lot of people around the league noticed his leadership.
Now Beverley is a free agent.
The Clippers want to bring him back, but first they are going big game hunting (Kawhi Leonard or Kevin Durant, if not them don’t look for the Clippers to wait rather than just sign someone), and then it becomes a matter of money. Beverley will have options. Phoenix, a team desperate for a veteran point guard, is expected to be a suitor.
What about Chicago? A team with interesting young talent in need of a point guard. They could be a fit, and Beverley told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune he would be up for it — and not just because of the basketball.
“I am Chicago. I’m from Chicago. I bleed Chicago. I really think I can help the city. I think I can save the city,” Beverley said. “I inspire already. And I’d be a great inspiration just walking around the city of Chicago, knowing I’m from there, knowing that someone made it out and you can go and do the same.
“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. 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.”
Allow me to translate Beverley’s comments: “I am going where I get paid the most.”
As he should. The Clippers may pay the most to keep him because they know how much he meant to that young team.