NBA free agent Patrick Beverley was connected to the Los Angeles Lakers on Twitter a fair amount on Monday.
To start, there was an interestingly phrased tweet from NBA insider Sean Deveney:
Sources tell me Patrick Beverley--a sensible FA target of the Bulls and Lakers--will be taking meetings with as many as 5 teams BEFORE meeting with the Clippers in 2 weeks. Clippers will be chasing max-type FAs, but Beverley won't necessarily wait on an offer from them, I'm told.— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) June 17, 2019
Does that mean Beverley will be a target for the Lakers? Or that Deveney thinks he’d make sense for the two teams (which he does)? It’s not totally clear, but he followed up later with a tweet that did strongly imply that the Lakers are interested, and that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer wouldn’t love that:
Interesting to note about the Lakers potential interest in free-agent Patrick Beverley. It would be very tough for Clippers owner Steve Ballmer to lose Beverley to his Staples Center rival.— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) June 18, 2019
Still though, he said “potential interest,” which doesn’t necessarily mean that the Lakers are definitely going after Beverley. What might suggest that, however, were Beverley’s tweets from later on Monday night:
That’s what I heard. Shit real huh https://t.co/mdLAiGA4IY— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) June 18, 2019
Here is a screengrab, just in case he deletes it:
He also tweeted “never personal just business” separately, which could have nothing or everything to do with the tweet above.
So what does all this mean? It’s not completely clear. Has Beverley heard the Lakers are interested in him through back channels? Or did he just see Deveney’s tweets?
We can’t really know for sure, but we do know that Beverley would be an incredible fit for a Lakers team looking for capable role players. The Lakers will have anywhere from $23.7 million in cap space to $32.5 million, depending on when their trade for Anthony Davis is completed. If the trade goes down on July 6 as it appears it will, then the $23.7-27ish million the Lakers would be left with (depending on if Davis waives his trade kicker, as well as other variables), would leave the Lakers short on space to offer a max contract.
Still, that’s enough room to add a few capable role players, and Beverley would fit that bill and fill a need for a team that doesn’t have any point guards right now. A pugnacious defender who serves as the beating heart of every team he’s on, Beverley could instantly come in as the Lakers’ starting point guard and help set the tone defensively for Frank Vogel’s team.
Beverley is also a relatively low-usage shooter — only 11.9 percent of Clippers possessions ended in a shot, assist, turnover or drawn free throw from Beverley last season, the third-lowest rate on the team, according to NBA.com. That makes Beverley a perfect fit for a star-heavy Lakers squad that will mainly need him to just hit open shots, which as a career 38 percent 3-point shooter, he can do.
And while we can’t know exactly how much he’ll cost, we do know that he’s expected to get a deal in the $12 million range, and we also know what kind of contract he doesn’t want, before you ask him on Twitter:
I see the lol. Good joke. Vets min!! Lol that’s funny https://t.co/ugkWSiZSPQ— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) June 4, 2019
So is this “shit real,” as Beverley said? Or are we writing this up for nothing? We probably won’t know for sure until July, but Beverley would be a step ahead of the other point guard role players the team might bring in, and a good option if their hunt for stars fails.