The Chicago Bulls Are Reportedly Adding Patrick Beverley Off the Buyout Market

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The Chicago Bulls Are Reportedly Adding Patrick Beverley Off the Buyout Market

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls are no longer the only team in the NBA not to make a mid-season move.

First reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and confirmed by numerous reporters, the Bulls are expected to sign Patrick Beverley through the remainder of the season. The news comes hours after reported Bulls target Russell Westbrook committed to joining the Los Angeles Clippers.

Beverley also all but confirmed the signing on Twitter:

Of course, this now means the organization will have to open up a roster spot to welcome Beverley for the final 23 games. Who exactly will hit waivers remains unclear, but I’d keep an eye on both Goran Dragic and Tony Bradley. Dragic has struggled to have the same impact off the bench since a hot start to the year, while Bradley has long been out of the rotation and rarely called up even when injuries have popped up.

The Bulls have $1.7 million standing between them and the luxury tax. If I understand it correctly, signing Beverley on a pro-rated deal for the remainder of the season should continue to keep them under that threshold.

I got to be honest, out of the three guards the Bulls were rumored to have an interest in, I think adding Beverley makes the most sense. Not only should he provide a sense of urgency and competitiveness that this team has lacked almost all season long, but he’s a low-usage talent who’s grown plenty used to playing next to All-Star-caliber talent.

To be sure, Beverley isn’t going to be the primary facilitator this team needs. While he should be a decent connective passer and help keep the ball moving around the horn, he’s never particularly been considered a “true point guard.” Beverley has averaged just 3.4 assists over his career, and he’s long struggled to be a plus-contributor on the offense end of the ball.

The good news, however, is that Beverley is a far better 3-point shooter than both Russell Westbrook and John Wall. He is by no means a consistent high-volume shooter, but he has shot a solid 37.6 percent over his career on roughly 4.1 attempts per game. For a Bulls team that shoots by far the fewest 3s per game, anybody who is willing to chuck up open catch-and-shoot shots feels like an upgrade.

Let’s also not forget what Beverley brings to the other end of the court. He’s built a career around being an aggressive in-your-face defender, finishing with a positive defensive box plus-minus in each year of his career. While he has certainly fallen off in his defensive efficiency as the years have gone by, his 0.6 defensive estimated plus-minus with the Lakers this year did rank in the 75th percentile, per Dunks & Threes.

For a Bulls team that was extremely effective with two perimeter defenders in Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso in the lineup, there is at least some reason to believe that this combination could provide a spark. To be clear, we shouldn’t at all expect them to magically look like the team we saw last year (remember, Beverley isn’t the same transition passer/high-volume shooting threat), but it’s at least something to note.

Look, I’ve gone on the record already stating that I don’t think anybody in the buyout market is going to significantly move the needle for this team. Beverley is at least a decent fit with a fun hometown story, but I don’t at all expect him to turn a six-game losing streak into a valiant push up the standings. Could the Bulls still sneak into the postseason picture? Sure. they are only 3.5 games back of the No. 8 seed. However, I’m not holding my breath.

The last thing I’ll say is this: I still would’ve preferred this team had gone the other way. Their odds to land a top-4 pick are currently better than their odds to make the playoffs. They could have just prioritized playing their youngsters and evaluating what they have in this group before a pivotal offseason. If Beverley takes away from earning someone like Dalen Terry vital developmental minutes, that just kind of stinks. I guess this front office might believe that making the playoffs is a form of internal development – which is true, in a sense – but it still just feels like they’re holding onto a lot of false hope.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.