Restricted free agent point guard Patrick Beverley is headed back to the Houston Rockets after agreeing to a four-year deal worth $25 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Sam Amick of USA Today reports only the first three years and $18 million of the deal are guaranteed, possibly making Beverley an enticing trade asset in the fourth year.
Beverley reached restricted free agency this summer after three years with the Rockets. Signed by the team as a free agent in 2013, he would emerge over the course of that multi-year contract to become the team's starting point guard and one of the top perimeter defenders in the game. During the 2014-15 season, Beverley made just $915,243.
Despite that small salary, Beverley worked his way into the Rockets' rotation over the past few years, eventually taking over as starter with the departure of Jeremy Lin. He's played 56 games apiece in each of the past two seasons, with production that's similarly consistent. Last season, Beverley averaged 10 points, four rebounds and over three assists in 31 minutes per game.
Beverley really makes his name on the defensive end, where he's considered one of the league's best on-ball defenders. The 26-year-old isn't anything special in terms of size (6'1 and 180 pounds), but he has strength, plays angles and knows how to body up bigger point guards.
Both the Rockets and Beverley made every indication that they wanted to work out a way to stick together, so it's not surprising that will happen. Beverley said in May that "this is the only team in the league -- I am very loyal -- only team in the league that really took a chance on me," though he also said he was aware that the NBA is a business and there are realities involved there.
Still, Beverley is too important to what the Rockets do with offensive-minded shooting guard James Harden as the franchise cornerstone, and after just three seasons, it's possible the point guard gets even better from here. The Rockets may have let Chandler Parsons go as an RFA last summer once the Dallas Mavericks showed up with a big offer, but they wouldn't let that happen again this time around.