The summer of free agency is just a month away with several NBA stars looking to cash in. Whether they stay on the same team or move to another depends on the offer and opportunity. Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley is a free agent who will more than likely command a bigger salary than the 4-year $23,027,026 contract he signed with the Houston Rockets in 2015.
One of the premier defenders at the point guard spot, Beverley can guard multiple positions with his speed, quickness and ability to keep his man preoccupied with his antics. His peskiness and versatility on the defensive end were never more apparent than in the Clippers’ first-round series against the title-seeking Golden State Warriors.
Beverley hounded Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the 6-foot-9 (some say 7-foot) Kevin Durant for six games and was successful in getting inside the two-time Finals MVP’s head early on. That was until Durant decided enough was enough as he put on his Superman cape and willed the Warriors to the series victory.
Nevertheless, Beverley showed everyone how valuable he can be to almost any team, especially those hoping to make a championship push. For the series, he averaged 9.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks while shooting 43.3 percent from 3-point range and defending some of the best players in the league. Any team with aspirations of being successful in the postseason ought to give the University of Arkansas product a look.
With his strong showing this season, he could have his pick of the litter before deciding which team he wants to play for eventually.
Here are three ideal NBA free-agency destinations for Beverley:
3. Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers are a team that is seeking more stability from its bench. They were inconsistent in their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup against the Toronto Raptors and that ultimately decided the seven-game series.
They can shore up the backup point guard position by signing Beverley to a contract this offseason. He brings a different flavor from Ben Simmons’ playmaking style and the two can even play together on the floor. When the other team’s backcourt is causing Philly a lot of problems, they can just plug in the 6-foot-1 guard to shut them down.
Not only that, Beverley would give the Sixers a tougher mentality coming into every game especially in the playoffs. With his no-nonsense approach, he could be the spark that the team needs off the bench to deliver the knockout punch to an opponent literally and figuratively.
2. Indiana Pacers
With starting point guard Darren Collison an unrestricted free agent this summer, Beverley could come in and take over the position. The defensive-minded Pacers should flourish with a tough-as-nails player calling the plays on one end and pestering the other team’s offensive possession on the other.
A backcourt that features Beverley and Victor Oladipo may be undersized, but they would be a nightmare for opposing backcourts to score against. These two alone could limit teams from scoring beyond the century mark!
Beverley will be perfect for this team as coach Nate MacMillan will be more than happy to have a reliable partner for Oladipo who carries a heavy load for the Pacers to be successful. At the same time, Beverley will be considered as a key piece to Indiana’s growth as a championship contender. Oladipo wasn’t even on the roster when the Pacers made their playoff run this season. Adding him and Beverley to the mix next year should make them a dark horse pick to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
More than any other team, he should decide to return to the Clippers next season. Coach Doc Rivers figured out how to best utilize Beverley whose 78 games this past season was a career high. The seven-year veteran played only 27.4 minutes a game, his lowest playing time since his rookie season which resulted in his second-lowest scoring average ever.
Even so, no one can deny his value to L.A.’s improbable season, one in which they had a better record than their more celebrated Staples Center rival. Beverley was a big part of that and he deserves to return to the Clippers and continue the work he started there. Inasmuch as Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrel were the engines that kept the Clippers running, Beverley was the fuel that fired up the team.
A return to the Clippers should be a given and it’s now up to management to show him the money this offseason.