2. Patrick Beverley
Trading Marcus Smart to Memphis did not help the team’s ball-handling and clutch efficiency woes. Expect Brad Stevens to be searching for a replacement unless he is comfortable with Derrick White, Payton Pritchard, and Malcolm Brogdon stepping up to fill the void. Could Boston be after a tone-setter and hardnosed defender to pair Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown?
The Celtics’ rumored interest in Pat Bev should come as zero surprises. He will not be hunting shots as the 6’1 guard plays all out on defense and makes plays. The 34-year-old struggled with the Lakers last season, but he was fantastic down the stretch for the Bulls. Which version would Boston get?
Pat Bev’s team has missed the playoffs just once since joining the NBA in 2012. He is a winner that can change the entire team’s chemistry and culture. Beverley could help maximize Tatum and Brown as he lightens their load on defense. The 6’1 guard will take on the opposition’s lead ball-handler, and he will go all-out to spot him.
Patrick Beverley could be a game-changer wherever he ends up. Will Boston be able to convince him to join the Celtics? It is not the only difficult choice the front office is facing in free agency.