With draft day upon us, less than 24 excruciating hours away, there are numerous different "sources" out there floating all kinds of information. Some of it may be smoke, some legitimate and some just plain crazy. One thing that most NBA fans have in common at this time of year, regardless of who you are a fan of, is that we are all on edge to see how the landscape of the NBA will change with tomorrow's draft and into next month with the start of free agency.
Let's examine one such rumor that may have some teeth to it and although it would not be the most heralded and noticeable move this offseason by all, it would most certainly have an impact on the one team and maybe the western conference as a whole. I'm talking about the speculation of the Utah Jazz trading for Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets.
I think it would go down as one of the more underrated moves of the offseason if it does happen and let me tell you why:
Sure up the backup point guard role
Count me as one that does not think the Jazz should give up on Dante Exum, yet. But with Shelvin Mack likely not being picked up and Raul Neto's future uncertain the Jazz need some help at backup point guard. Beverly would be the ideal backup as he is a very capable player and his veteran leadership and toughness would be invaluable for a guy like Dante Exum to learn from.
The biggest plus from Beverley is the defensive intensity that he brings, and he's a good passer (4.2 asst./game in 16-17) who takes pretty good care of the ball. To sum up, I think Beverley would be a decent backup who would help the Jazz stay in games when George Hill goes out and I think his leadership would help Dante Exum mature and get better.
His contract is VERY team friendly
Beverley has one of the best contracts in the league relative to his value. This may be one big reason why the Rockets don't end up dealing him, but if do they are giving up on a player who does so many little things for a team all with a very manageable contract. Beverley has two years left at about 5 million a year. That would allow the Jazz to still have flexibility to get another free agent to sure up the 4 spot.
He is a glue guy with a good attitude
By all accounts Beverley is a loyal player and helps with chemistry in the locker room. He seems like a true professional with the way he approaches the game and seems to take pride in his game. I know some will scoff and disagree with me but I really admired his attitude when he was asked about the trend of resting during this past season.
“I think that’s a disgrace to this league. I think that fans deserve better......I could care less about coaches asking players to rest or not. It’s up to you to play or not, and if you don’t, you’re disrespecting the game. And I don’t believe in disrespecting the game because there was a time where I wasn’t playing in the NBA and I was trying to get here. So me resting, I feel like, is disrespecting me, disrespecting the name on the front of the jersey and disrespecting the name on the back of the jersey.”
Whatever you're opinion on the rest issue may be, I think we can agree that it's better to have a player that approaches the game wanting to play every chance he gets vs. not.
The Jazz would be wise to do everything they can to try and acquire Beverley. I'm sure there are A LOT of other teams that would like to acquire his services also, but Dennis Lindsey has done a great job up to this point and here's to hoping that he can work some of his old connections with Houston and pull off a little wizardry.