Patrick Beverly may very well be on the move, and it could be to another team in the Western Conference. The Jazz have made inquiries on acquiring Beverly from the Rockets, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune.
The Rockets have been actively shopping Beverley, and Beverley has been open to a trade and consulted with the team about a potential move, according to Sporting News’ Sean Deveney.
At first, it was hard to believe the Rockets would move on from Beverley after another solid season. After all, the 6’1 guard is Houston’s best defender and a seamless fit next to the ball-dominant James Harden.
Leave this alone, no story here @patbev21 ain't going nowhere— JJohnson_37 (@JJohnson_36) June 21, 2017
But Beverley seemed to co-sign the rumor on Twitter moments after the story broke.
He then retweeted a series of tweets that could indicate his desire to move on. In response to a tweet suggesting he should return to his hometown of Chicago and play for the Bulls, Beverley replied “I know right. That would be dope.”
And the Rockets guard shared a tweet with his followers suggesting he deserves more money than what he’s currently being paid.
I know right. That would be dope. https://t.co/CjqpACYX2o— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) June 21, 2017
Fam, he deserves the money he wants. But I don't want to see him leave.— Devon Clark (@D_iiCe) June 21, 2017
What does this all mean?
Beverly appears unhappy with his situation in Houston at the moment. He’s the team’s best defender and does the dirty work no one else on the court wants to do, yet he’s only being paid $10.5 million over the next two seasons, with a non-guarantee on the final year.
He’s one of the unsung heroes for the Rockets, playing a complementary role offensively while guarding the best perimeter guards on the other team.
Houston does not have to make a move with Beverly at this point, but it’s clear he wants something to happen. Since it won’t be a contract extension or a pay increase, he may want for a change of scenery.
Why a Jazz trade makes sense for Beverly
The Jazz are in a position where they’ve got tons of cap space now to absorb salary. But once the new league year starts on July 1 and they have to pay both Gordon Hayward and George Hill, it’ll be more difficult to work out a trade for a player like Beverly even with a cheaper contract.
The Jazz would be a solid fit for Beverley. It’s team that is focused on passing, movement, and cutting, unlike in Houston where everything revolves around James Harden. Beverly still wouldn’t have to use a ton of possessions as a ball handler because the Jazz have so many capable ones on their roster already.
Beverly would be a good replacement for Hill should he leave in free agency. They’d also be more comfortable retaining Joe Ingles at a market rate with a cheaper option at point guard like Beverly.
The trade makes sense for the Jazz — especially if they get the sense that Hill will ask for more than they believe he’s worth. Beverly isn’t the same offensive player, but he can get the job done.
Why a Jazz trade doesn’t make sense for Beverly
Beverly would have to play a bigger offensive role. He’s never shown he can be a capable lead ball handler on a team and initiate offense. Though the Jazz do have many capable ball handlers, Beverly would be the point guard initiating the play most of the time.
That’s not a role that suits him best. Though he’s small in stature, he plays like a prototypical 3-and-D player. There’s room for him on the Jazz roster, but there probably aren’t many players he fits better alongside than Harden.
Beverly probably feels unappreciated in Houston because of how little he’s being paid, but he still has two years left on his deal. Maybe the Rockets can promise Beverly an opt-out to discuss a new deal, but that isn’t something they have to do.
Beverly is probably best suited in the role he’s currently playing. He’d be hard pressed to find a better situation in the league for him as a starter.
Will Beverly be traded? Probably not:
We give this rumor a 3 out of 10.
Beverly seems to be dissatisfied with the role he’s currently playing in Houston and a change in scenery might do him some good.
But the Rockets would surely prefer to trade someone else to clear cap space and keep Beverley. Their point guard depth is scarce, and even though Harden is the main initiator for their offensive attack, having a player alongside him to cover up his weaknesses is important.
Without Beverly, the Rockets would be hard pressed to find a replacement who can guard either guard position and hide Harden’s deficiencies. Furthermore, the Rockets have two years left on Beverly’s deal with a team option. They don’t have to do anything right now if they can clear cap space by other means.