Patrick Beverley

Northwest Notes: Small-Market Stars, Henderson, SGA, Edwards

Current Sixers guard Patrick Beverley sent a ripple through the NBA when he suggested Timberwolves star guard Anthony Edwards should leave Minnesota when he gets the chance. Stars of small-market teams are often subject to trade rumors and to that point, the Trail Blazers look poised to send franchise icon Damian Lillard to a “bigger market” after years of speculation.

The Trail Blazers have an heir apparent to the point guard spot in 2023 No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson, but Henderson recognizes that he has plenty of work to do to help offset a potential loss of Lillard, he said in an interview with The Oregonian’s Bill Oram. Part of that starts with being an active member of the Portland community, which Lillard was, according to Oram.

I can definitely learn from that and seeing how he goes out his way to do certain things for the fans here,” Henderson said. “That’s something I’ve seen and heard about. That’s who I am as a person as well.

Henderson said Lillard has been in communication with the former G League Ignite guard, and he’s been giving him pointers on living in Portland, per Oram. Whatever way the Lillard situation ends, Oram writes, Henderson is prepared to help get the Blazers back to the playoffs.

I’m here to work,” Henderson said. “I’m here to come here and win some games. Never been focused on anyone else’s situation, ever.

Oram believes Henderson has a real chance to connect with Portland fans in a similar way to Lillard, but knows sentiments like Beverley’s will persist through Henderson’s career if he’s a breakout star. However, Oram believes Henderson is well-situated to become the franchise’s next staple, and the guard appears to have similar plans.

It’s probably the best situation I could possibly be in, ever,” Henderson said. “I’m here to stay.

We have more Northwest Division notes:

  • While Portland has a star on the way out, the Thunder‘s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is poised to stick around for a while. According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, rival executives who hoped Gilgeous-Alexander would want out of Oklahoma City less than a year ago appear to have given up on those hopes. Amick writes that organizational excitement is at an all-time high, and that Gilgeous-Alexander has a chance to take the young Thunder to the playoffs — he’ll get a chance to play with last year’s No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren this season.
  • Responding to Beverley’s comment about Edwards, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski pushed back on the notion that Edwards should leave the Timberwolves. Krawczynski echoes the point that small-market fans are used to hearing people say their players should or will depart for bigger markets, but to hear it from Beverley, who played for the team in 2021/22, is different. Krawczynski writes that Minnesota is a bigger market than given credit for and can push to keep Edwards around, though the team will need to continue to build around the star guard.
  • In case you missed it, free agent Javonte Cooke is reportedly signing an Exhibit 10 deal with the Timberwolves.

Atlantic Notes: Clowney, Embiid, Beverley, Hauser

Summer League gave Nets rookie Noah Clowney a chance to adjust to the speed of the NBA game before his first training camp, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Clowney struggled with his shot in Las Vegas, connecting at just 22.6% from the field and 23.5% beyond the arc, but he considers the experience a valuable one.

“Obviously the game is faster,” Clowney said. “It’s really all a bunch of small details, really — like screening angles, getting into screens faster, then getting out faster and things like that. What shots are good shots, if you don’t (have) a shot, get right into the next action. … You learn from it, and I think the only way you can learn from it is by going through the experience of that Summer League. So I’m glad I played in it. It was fun. I didn’t play my best, obviously. (My shooting) percentages were horrible. But it was a learning experience. I feel like that’s what it was supposed to be. So I’m happy with it.”

One of the youngest players in this year’s draft, Clowney just turned 19 in July, so he may spend much of his first season in the G League. He has drawn comparisons to starting center Nic Claxton, and Nets officials are optimistic about his long-term potential.

“I love the intangibles. I love how hard he competes. I love the length that he has,” general manager Sean Marks said. “When you have a 7-foot-3-inch wingspan, I can’t teach that. Our coaches can teach a lot of things, but they can’t teach that. I love the fact that he doesn’t shy away from shooting from the outside. He’s very versatile, can play a couple of different positions out there.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • France’s disappointment in this year’s World Cup doesn’t mean national team general manager Boris Diaw will be any more aggressive in recruiting Sixers center Joel Embiid for the 2024 Olympics, per Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops. Embiid has both French and U.S. citizenship, but he hasn’t committed to representing either country. “I don’t think it’s a pursuit. It’s about people who want to come,” Diaw said. “Some people come or don’t come to the national team for different reasons. He’s a special case for his own reasons. I don’t think there’s a way to be aggressive on our part.”
  • Sixers guard Patrick Beverley doesn’t believe the Celtics can win a title with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as the core of the team, relays Kaley Brown of “No – too much of the same player,” Beverley said on his podcast. “They don’t complement each other enough … they complement each other, but not enough.” Even so, Beverley added that Boston shouldn’t get rid of either player and said the team got “a lot better” by trading for Kristaps Porzingis.
  • Grant Williams‘ departure creates an opportunity for Celtics forward Sam Hauser to earn consistent minutes moving into his third NBA season, observes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Hauser briefly moved ahead of Williams in the rotation last season, and Weiss examines how he can best fit into coach Joe Mazzulla’s offense.

Eastern Notes: Beverley, DeRozan, Bulls’ Schedule, Embiid, Knicks

It seems unlikely now that new Sixers point guard Patrick Beverley will play with James Harden in Philadelphia but he doesn’t blame Harden for being upset over his contract situation, Dave Early of relays. Beverley weighed in on the Harden saga on his Pat Bev Podcast With Rone.

“I don’t think it’s coming from a bad place. I think he understands exactly what he’s doing,” Beverley said. “And like I said it’s a tough one, ’cause I know both (Harden and Sixers executive Daryl Morey)…. I understand both guys…. it’s just so many pieces that we’re not educated about. But we do know there was something in place that didn’t go down and one man feels some type of way which he’s entitled to feel that way. So I’m not here for the bad James Harden press at all. … I hope I’m able to suit up and play with James Harden but from the way things are looking, [it’s] unfortunate.”

Beverley signed a one-year deal with the Sixers in July.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • DeMar DeRozan ranks as the Bulls’ most valuable trade asset among the team’s core group of players, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times opines. DeRozan, a highly-respected veteran scorer with an expiring contract, could be a hot property for a team with championship aspirations. Nikola Vucevic, despite the fact he signed an extension, could bring more in a deal at the trade deadline than Zach LaVine because of his more affordable contract, Cowley writes.
  • In a separate story, Cowley weighs in on five key games for the Bulls during this upcoming season. The last of the games on his list is the April 1 contest with the Hawks, who played three highly entertaining, hotly-contested games with Chicago last season.
  • The Knicks are one of many teams monitoring the Sixers’ situation and the possibility of Joel Embiid requesting a trade, Matt Ehalt of the New Yok Post writes. It would be an ideal scenario for the Knicks and New York’s top executive, Leon Rose, has the pieces and assets to trade for a superstar. Embiid, whom Rose represented early in the reigning MVP’s career, would immediately make the Knicks serious title contenders.

Atlantic Notes: Beverley, Harden, J. Brown, Duke, Knicks

Patrick Beverley played with James Harden in Houston for five seasons from 2012-17 and is hoping to get the opportunity to reunite with his old backcourt mate in Philadelphia. Acknowledging that the decision on how to handle Harden’s trade request is “above my pay grade,” Beverley said during his introductory press conference on Monday that he’d love it if Harden is still with the Sixers when the season begins.

“One of my decisions coming here was because James Harden was here,” Beverley said, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “So I hope he stays. Hope that everybody can kind of work something out and put that behind us and kind of move forward. I think it’s important.

“… I love him. James, I love you, bro. Stay. … I’m very familiar with James. And I’m excited. I’m excited to get it going. He knows I’m here. So we’ll see.”

Beverley officially signed his one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Sixers over the weekend. Harden’s future – or lack thereof – in Philadelphia will be one of the factors that determines what Beverley’s role looks like in 2023/24.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Extension discussions between Jaylen Brown and the Celtics have progressed as expected so far, and the two sides appear to be moving closer to an agreement, potentially within the next week, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Weiss adds that the three teams involved in the Grant Williams sign-and-trade – Boston, Dallas, and San Antonio – are still finalizing the details on all the draft picks involved in that complex deal, which should become official soon.
  • Although he didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Nets in June, David Duke has been playing for their Summer League team and remains hopeful about returning to Brooklyn, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Duke, who finished the season on a standard contract with the Nets after being promoted from his two-way deal, admitted that he was a little surprised not to be given a QO. “You know, things don’t always happen as you really expect it. So yeah, I can say that I was expecting (a qualifying offer),” he said. “But my whole career I feel like there’s been things that have kind of been thrown at me that I didn’t expect, so it’s not really something that shook me or anything like that. … I think if I take care of the stuff on the court, everything will fall into place.”
  • In a story for The Athletic, Fred Katz examines the impact Donte DiVincenzo could have on the Knicks‘ defense, outlines the unlikely incentives in DiVincenzo’s new contract, and weighs the value of the second-round picks the team got back in the Obi Toppin trade with Indiana.

Patrick Beverley Signs One-Year Deal With Sixers

JULY 9: The signing is official, the Sixers announced (via Twitter).

JULY 1: Free agent point guard Patrick Beverley is joining the Sixers. The news was broken by Beverley himself, via his podcast’s Twitter account, with Kyle Neubeck of reporting (via Twitter) that it’ll be a fully guaranteed one-year, minimum-salary deal.

A former second-round pick out of Arkansas, Beverley has enjoyed a productive 11-year career in the NBA by thriving as a perimeter defender and solid three-point shooter (.373 PT%).

While his shooting has been up and down in recent years (33.9% since the start of the 2021/22 season), Beverley still has a reputation as a terrific veteran leader and a strong defender. After signing with Chicago on the buyout market in February, he helped stabilize the Bulls’ point guard rotation and drew praise from his teammates for his presence in the locker room.

Splitting his 2022/23 season between the Bulls and Lakers, the 6’1″ vet averaged a modest 6.2 PPG on .400/.335/.723 splits, 3.7 RPG, 2.9 APG and 0.9 SPG, across 67 contests. Until his Chicago stint, he had qualified for the playoffs in all of his first 10 NBA seasons.

Though the upper echelon of the Sixers’ roster is currently very much in flux with starting guard James Harden having requested a trade out of town earlier this week, Beverley seems likely to be a stabilizing energy bench piece. He can operate as a supplemental point-of-attack defender who remains a threat on the perimeter. Philadelphia recently lost another rotation guard, Shake Milton, who inked a two-year deal to join the Timberwolves.

As Kyle Neubeck of notes, Beverley will join several former Rockets teammates in Philadelphia. Team president Daryl Morey served as the head man in Houston when Beverley and Harden were Rockets. Sixers power forward P.J. Tucker, wing Danuel House, and center Montrezl Harrell were also rostered with both squads.

Beverley may no longer be the three-time All-Defensive talent he was in his prime, but even during his age-35 season, he still seems very capable of being a two-way contributor on a playoff club.

Alex Kirschenbaum contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Beverley, Sumner, Harden, G. Williams, Raptors

In his latest podcast, Patrick Beverley said he consulted with former Sixers coach Doc Rivers before deciding to sign with Philadelphia (video link from Barstool Sports). Beverley describes Rivers as a “mentor” and said he often reaches out to him before making important decisions.

“This is a Hall of Fame coach who just got fired, and his exact words: ‘I love Philadelphia for you; they need you,'” Beverley said. “‘You will be great with Joel (Embiid). James (Harden), he respects you, you will be great with him. If I had you last season, we would have been a different team.'”

Beverley, who agreed to a one-year, minimum-salary deal, said he was planning to talk to the Celtics and Wizards, but changed his mind after getting Rivers’ endorsement of the Sixers.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets and guard Edmond Sumner have agreed to push back his salary guarantee date, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Sumner’s $2,239,943 non-guaranteed salary for 2023/24 had previously been on track to fully guarantee if he wasn’t waived today, as our tracker shows. His new guarantee date is July 15, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey showed good judgment by not letting his fondness for Harden affect what’s best for the team, writes Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Morey has a long relationship with Harden going back to Houston, but he wasn’t willing to give the 34-year-old former MVP the pricey long-term contract he wanted. Hayes states that the first indication that Morey wouldn’t give in to Harden came when he hired Nick Nurse as his new head coach instead of Mike D’Antoni, a longtime Harden favorite.
  • Under different circumstances, the Celtics might have been willing to give Grant Williams the four-year, $54MM deal he received from the Mavericks, suggests Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Forsberg believes the Celtics would have paid that price for Williams before last season started or if they had been able to unload Malcolm Brogdon‘s salary. But the addition of Kristaps Porzingis affected Boston’s financial picture and likely would have reduced Williams’ role on the team. Forsberg points out that the Celtics are about $7MM below the second apron and have limited options to replace Williams, which should result in more playing time for Sam Hauser and other young players.
  • Eric Koreen of The Athletic looks at potential deals for the Raptors after losing point guards Fred VanVleet and Dalano Banton in free agency. The most prominent name is Brogdon, whom Koreen believes might be available in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. Koreen also eyes trades involving Delon Wright, Ricky Rubio, Devonte’ Graham, Payton Pritchard, Killian Hayes, Cole Anthony and Kira Lewis.

Coby White Likely To Re-Sign With Bulls

Restricted free agent Coby White is considered likely to re-sign with the Bulls on a three-year deal, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports. The contract is expected to be worth more than $30MM, according to Fischer.

Chicago made White a restricted free agent by extending him a $7,744,600 qualifying offer on Wednesday.

White is entering his fifth season in the NBA after being drafted by the Bulls with the No. 7 overall pick in 2019. While he hasn’t lived up to his draft status, White has been a regular part of the Bulls’ rotation in his four pro seasons.

White saw action in a career-high 74 games (two starts) last season. He averaged a career-low 9.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 23.4 minutes per game. Overall, he’s appeared in 269 career regular-season games, averaging 12.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

The combo guard figures to retain at least a second-unit spot, given Lonzo Ball‘s ongoing knee issues. The Bulls are interested in re-signing unrestricted free agent Patrick Beverley, who jumped into the starting lineup after being signed on the buyout market last season.

However, Beverley has another potential suitor in the Celtics, according to Fischer. Boston traded away Marcus Smart to Memphis in the Kristaps Porzingis three-team blockbuster and the Clippers have reportedly shown renewed interest in Malcolm Brogdon.

Beverley joined the Bulls last season after he was bought out by Orlando and started 22 games. He was dealt by the Lakers in a four-team swap at the trade deadline.

Bulls Sign Nikola Vucevic To Three-Year Extension

3:12pm: The Bulls have issued a press release officially announcing Vucevic’s extension.

“During his time in Chicago, Nikola has proven that he is a special player both on and off the court,” executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said in a statement. “He has produced at an elite level since we acquired him and will remain an integral part of our foundation moving forward. Nikola’s willingness to do whatever is asked of him to help us win, while also being an established veteran leader for our group, makes him a valuable component of the culture of our organization. He is a consummate professional and tremendous teammate, which plays a big role in making us an attractive destination for other players. We are excited to have him continue to be part of our journey.”

2:42pm: The Bulls and Nikola Vucevic are nearing an agreement on a three-year, $60MM contract extension that would keep the veteran center off the free agent market, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Vucevic, 32, was acquired by the Bulls at the 2021 trade deadline in a deal with Orlando. Since arriving in Chicago, he has averaged 18.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game with a .492/.342/.812 shooting line in 181 total regular season appearances (33.2 MPG).

Vucevic isn’t an elite defender, but he’s a talented scorer and rebounder who has been remarkably consistent during his first two full seasons with the Bulls — he averaged 17.6 PPG, 11.0 RPG, and 3.2 APG in both 2021/22 and ’22/23.

Like fellow big man Naz Reid, Vucevic had been extension-eligible this season, so he didn’t have to wait to reach the open market this weekend if his goal was to re-up with his current team.

The Bulls were considered a good bet to reach a new deal with Vucevic before or during free agency for multiple reasons. For one, their guaranteed contracts and the cap holds for restricted free agents Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu would almost certainly make them an over-the-cap team with or without Vucevic on the books, so they wouldn’t have had a clear path to replace him at the same salary slot if they’d let him walk.

There has also been a sense, as Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports wrote today, that Chicago didn’t love the idea of letting Vucevic go after paying such a steep price to acquire him from the Magic two years ago. That trade netted Orlando a pair of lottery picks – Franz Wagner and Jett Howard – in addition to young center Wendell Carter.

Assuming they officially finalize an extension with Vucevic by the June 30 deadline, the Bulls can shift their focus to free agency, where they’re expected to re-sign guards White and Dosunmu, according to Fischer. A new deal for unrestricted free agent Patrick Beverley is also a possibility, Fischer adds.

The Bulls project to be about $27MM below the luxury tax line after signing Vucevic, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks, though that estimate could vary depending on the exact structure of Vucevic’s extension, as well as Andre Drummond‘s player option decision. Once he officially signs, Vucevic will become ineligible to be traded for six months.

Meanwhile, an already-thin group of free agent centers will take another hit with both Vucevic and Reid off the market. Jakob Poeltl and Brook Lopez are the headliners at the position, with veterans like Mason Plumlee and Dwight Powell among the solid second-tier targets for teams in need of size. However, there aren’t a lot of reliable veterans available beyond those top few guys.

Southwest Notes: Morant, Mavs, Rockets, Beverley

Following a series of cryptic social media posts from Ja Morant, police in Tennessee visited the home of the Grizzlies star to check on him, a spokesperson for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office tells TMZ Sports.

Morant had published Instagram stories telling his mother, father, and daughter that he loved them, followed by one that was simply captioned, “Bye.” He deleted them a short time later.

The police spokesperson tells TMZ Sports that Morant is “fine” and that he told the officers who came to his home that he’s simply taking a break from social media.

Morant has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities by the Grizzlies after an Instagram Live video appeared to show him brandishing a gun. The NBA’s investigation into that video is ongoing — given that Morant was suspended during the season for a similar incident, there’s an expectation that he’ll be facing another suspension at the start of the 2023/24 season.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Tim Cato of The Athletic breaks down some reasons why the Mavericks should trade the No. 10 overall pick and some reasons why they’ll consider keeping it. In Cato’s view, Dallas is more likely to move the pick than to hang onto it, but it remains to be seen how valuable a trade asset it will be — there may be some higher lottery picks available on the trade market, and the first- and second-tier prospects in this year’s draft class will likely be gone by No. 10.
  • While much of the focus in Houston is on the No. 4 overall pick, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required) notes that the Rockets also control the No. 20 selection and considers which prospects could be on the team’s radar at that spot. Indiana’s Jalen Hood-Schifino and Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh are among the prospects in that range who get a look from Feigen.
  • Asked on his podcast about the possibility of reuniting with James Harden in Houston, where he spent five seasons earlier in his NBA career, free-agent-to-be Patrick Beverley expressed enthusiasm about the idea of joining the Rockets and called Ime Udoka a “great” coach (Twitter video link via Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston).

Bulls Notes: Karnisovas, Williams, Beverley, DeRozan

The Bulls recently signed executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas to an extension without any public fanfare, a source told Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Although Chicago is coming off a 40-42 season and a play-in tournament exit, Mayberry points out that Karnisovas still has a strong relationship with chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf.

Despite the extension, there’s reason to believe the organization’s faith in Karnisovas may be declining, Mayberry adds. He notes that Karnisovas has let the last three windows for improvement — the past two trade deadlines and the 2022 offseason — pass without a significant roster upgrade, leaving Chicago stuck as roughly a .500 team with no obvious way to improve.

There’s still confidence within the organization that things are headed in the right direction, according to Mayberry. Insiders cite a cultural change since the new regime took over and point out that the Bulls had a top-five defense this season. However, until those improvements result in more wins, there’s a chance that a change will be eventually made at the top.

There’s more from Chicago:

  • The success that Lauri Markkanen had in Utah should make the Bulls more reluctant to consider trading Patrick Williams this summer, Mayberry adds. He notes that Williams showed steady improvement after injuries limited him to 17 games last season and states that Chicago could use more players with Williams’ size and versatility.
  • Patrick Beverley quickly became a leader when he joined the Bulls in February, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The team went 14-9 after signing Beverley following a buyout, as he provided toughness along with a defensive presence. Johnson notes that Beverley recently said on his podcast that he wants a new contract starting at $15MM a year, but the Bulls only have his Non-Bird rights and are limited to a $3.8MM offer unless they use their mid-level exception.
  • The Bulls also face a decision on DeMar DeRozan, who will become eligible this summer for an extension worth up to $179MM over four years, Johnson states in a mailbag column. DeRozan has been an All-Star in both of his seasons with Chicago, but Johnson doesn’t believe the Bulls will rush into a decision — either by extending or trying to trade him.