New team, same Patrick Beverley.
Less than two weeks after the Los Angeles Lakers traded the veteran guard, he is already plotting his revenge as the newest member of the Chicago Bulls. In an episode of his "Pat Bev Pod," Beverley went out of his way to note that the Bulls play the Lakers twice more this season.
He was blunt when asked how he will feel about playing his old team:
"What are the emotions going to be like going into that? Like, what's going through your head?"
"Knock them out of the playoffs."
There is clearly no love lost there, which is nothing new when it comes to Beverley.
Beverley played for the Lakers for only half a season. When he faced the Clippers, for whom he played four seasons, and eliminated them the season after they traded him, he trash-talked them so hard he was fined by the NBA two days later. This is not a man who takes slights lightly, be they real or perceived.
Lakers are two games out of NBA play-in spot
Beverley will likely not get a chance to directly eliminate the Lakers, as they have six games after they face his Bulls consecutively March 26 and 29, but they will almost certainly be in a position where a loss or two would be very bad news.
The Lakers currently sit 13th in the Western Conference at 27-32. They are two games behind the 10th-place Oklahoma City Thunder for the final play-in spot, with the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers between them. For an outright playoff spot, the Lakers are 3.5 games behind the sixth-place Dallas Mavericks.
The trade that sent Beverley to the Orlando Magic for Mo Bamba was just one of the moves the Lakers hoped would turn around their moribund season at the trade deadline. In addition to Bamba, they acquired Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley while parting with Beverley, Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones.
Early returns have been solid so far, with L.A. going 2-1 since Feb. 9, with the lone loss coming without LeBron James, but the Lakers obviously have some ground to make up.