The Chicago Bulls are nearing a deal with free-agent guard Patrick Beverley for the remainder of the NBA season, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
The Los Angeles Lakers traded Beverley to the Orlando Magic earlier this month as part of a trade-deadline deal to acquire backup center Mo Bamba. The Magic waived Beverley three days later, and he became a free agent.
The Bulls are signing Beverley amid reports that point guard Lonzo Ball is out for the season due to a knee injury that has sidelined him since January 2022. Chicago will need to waive a player to clear roster space for Beverley.
Can Beverley help the Bulls into the postseason?
After making the playoffs with a 46-36 record last season, the Bulls have regressed in 2022-23. They'll come out of the All-Star break 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 26-33 record.
But they remain in play for a play-in berth, awarded to teams seeded 7-10 in each conference. The Bulls are two games behind the 10th-place Toronto Raptors and 6.5 games behind the New York Knicks, who would earn the East's last guaranteed playoff spot as the No. 6 seed if the playoffs started today.
Beverley started all 45 games he played for the Lakers, averaging 6.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 40.2% from the floor. The bulk of his value stems from his defensive prowess and his tendency to agitate opposing players. His role will presumably remain the same in Chicago.
Beverley will join a backcourt that features Ayo Dosunmu, Zach Lavine, Alex Caruso, Coby White and Goran Dragic.