Chris Paul wasn’t the only reason that the Rockets moved Patrick Beverley.
After six successful but simultaneously disappointing seasons in Lob City, Chris Paul knew that his time in L.A. had run its course.
Instead of sticking around and tossing lobs to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, CP3 notified the Clippers that he didn’t plan to re-sign in free agency. Paul joined James Harden in Houston, the Clippers are rebuilding around Blake Griffin, and that’s all there is to the story right? Wrong.
Paul wasn’t the only lockdown defending point guard unhappy with his lot in the NBA, Patrick Beverley was too.
Beverley told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on the Woj Pod that he requested a trade from Houston. He longed for a bigger role on the team, but came to the realization that it was unlikely to happen with The Beard running the show in Houston.
“I asked for it, I asked for a bigger opportunity, a bigger chance to display my skills on a high level. I was fortunate that the Rockets did really good with me and put me in a situation where I could thrive and be successful. They could have dumped me anywhere, but they did (me) right and I respect them a lot for it.”
As a Houston Rockets fan, don’t be upset at Beverley for wanting to play on another team. Last season, Mike D’Antoni moved James Harden to point guard and Beverley spent most of his time standing around the perimeter waiting for an open shot, an unusual role for a point guard.
Beverley experienced a slight decrease in production.
With the adjustment, Beverley saw his production in some areas taper off slightly. In the 2016-17 season, he averaged 9.5 points per game, down from 9.9 in the 2015-16 campaign. His field-goal attempts per game also dropped from 8.4 to 8.1. Finally, Pat’s usage percentage went from 15.5 percent to 14.1 percent.
For the most part, Beverley’s numbers from last year matched his production from the year before. Harden is arguable the most talented offensive player in the league, and his 34.1 percent usage rating reflects that. Pat played the role that gave the Rockets the best chance at success.
The window for any athlete is such a narrow one, and at 29 years old, Beverley’s prime years will begin to dwindle in a few seasons. His trade value has probably peaked, and he knew that now was the time to showcase his full skill-set.
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Beverley went about his discontent in a professional way. He never voiced his wishes to the media, as to avoid creating a rift within the locker room. Instead, he put forth 100 percent of his effort until the Rockets were eliminated in San Antonio. Only then did he send in his trade request behind closed doors.
Pat did right by the Rockets, and in return the Rockets did right by him. When an organization makes an effort to accommodate a trade request, it only shines light on the professionalism of the franchise, making Houston a target destination for stars like Carmelo Anthony.
Patrick Beverley should be commended for his contribution to Rockets Nation, not shunned for finding an opportunity elsewhere.