In the aftermath of Saturday’s trade that is expected to officially send Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers sometime next month, the team was left without a starting point guard, as Lonzo Ball was one of the players Los Angeles sent to the New Orleans Pelicans in order to acquire the prized big man. That has led to rumors that the Lakers could pursue top-flight free agents such as Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets and Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics to replace Ball. But if the Lakers have to settle for a consolation prize in free agency, erstwhile Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley could be one target worth looking at.
On Monday, Sean Deveney of Sporting News cited unnamed sources in a tweet that suggested Beverley will be meeting with “as many as five” teams before he meets with the Clippers in about two weeks from now. He added that the Clippers are expected to chase “max-type” free agents this summer, stressing as well that Beverley “won’t necessarily” wait until the Clippers make an offer to retain him going forward.
While the aforementioned tweet mentioned that Beverley is a “sensible” target for the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls this summer, Deveney did not clarify whether those two organizations are among the five teams the 30-year-old combo guard plans to meet with. However, a follow-up tweet offered further context, suggesting that the Lakers have “potential interest” in Beverley and that it would be “very tough” if Clippers owner Steve Ballmer loses the veteran to the cross-town rivals.
“I am Chicago. I’m from Chicago. I bleed Chicago." Patrick Beverley has an open mind about free agency — and he's all ears if his hometown Bulls call. https://t.co/QTFxqM8FTU— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) June 13, 2019
In addition, Silver Screen and Roll pointed out that Beverley himself reacted to the rumors in a tweet of his own on Monday night, where he responded to a follower and claimed to have indeed heard of the Lakers’ supposed interest in him. A further Twitter post from the Clippers guard, where he said that the NBA is “never personal” and “just business,” was interpreted by Silver Screen and Roll as possibly having “nothing and everything” to do with his first tweet.
While Patrick Beverley does not possess the same upside that Lonzo Ball did during his two seasons with the Lakers, his defensive ability and veteran smarts should at least make him a good complementary player on a team that will feature Anthony Davis teaming up with four-time NBA MVP LeBron James and fellow returnee Kyle Kuzma on a potentially more competitive Lakers team. Per Silver Screen and Roll, the timing of the Davis trade’s finalization could possibly leave the Lakers with as little as $23.7 million in salary cap space, which likely wouldn’t be enough to lure superstar point guards Irving or Walker away from their current teams.