Patrick Beverley had cryptic words in the locker room following the Rockets game six loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
“I have a lot of big decisions as far as me and my future and what I want to do, so we’ll see how things go,” he said that night in what turned out to be his final game as a Rocket. On Thursday, a little more than five weeks to the day he was traded, we learned why he was ready to leave the Rockets.
“I asked for a bigger opportunity, a bigger chance to display my skills on a high level,” the guard told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on his podcast from the Yacht Endeavor on Lake Michigan.
The Rockets grated that request on June 28 when they sent Beverley, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Sam Dekker, and Kyle Wiltjer to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Chris Paul. Five weeks later, Beverley is thrilled with the trade, and grateful to the Rockets for putting him in a situation that he’s excited about.
“I was fortunate that the Rockets did really good with me and put me in a situation where I can thrive and be successful. They could have dumped me anywhere, but they did right, and I respect them a lot for it.”
After spending years in Greece, Ukraine and Russia, Beverley joined the Rockets in January of 2013 and found himself starting on a playoff team soon after. He was named to the NBA’s All Defensive Second Team the next season, and after the following season signed a four-year, $25 million contract with the Rockets. Always known as an elite defender, the guard was named to the NBA’s All Defensive First Team after this season, but he told Wojnarowski that he wanted a bigger role, much like one of his old teammates.
“There came a time in James’ (Harden) career when he went from sixth man to eventually being MVP that he wanted more, and I’m not going to compare that to this, but it comes to a point and time, I don’t want to live in regret saying what I would’ve, could’ve, should’ve done if I had the opportunity to at this age”
Beverley goes to Los Angeles as the Clippers’ unquestioned starting point guard, and with Blake Griffin likely sidelined for the first part of next season due to the foot injury he suffered in last year’s playoffs, Beverley will be called on to do a lot more offensively than he did with the Rockets.
“I’ve never been traded before, so it’s been a process, getting used to, but it’s going to be fun, for sure.”
As for the team he left and their new guard combination, Beverley doesn’t think that Harden and Paul will have any issues gelling.
“If you’re not a basketball player you can easily say it won’t work, or how’s it going to work, they both need the ball. I think it’s going to work. I really do. I think when you get two players that haven’t won a championship yet and thirsty to win a championship you’re gonna sacrifice, at the end of the day that’s what it’s going to take.”
“Kevin Durant did it, Klay Thompson did it, Steph Curry’s doing it, Draymond Green’s doing it. It’s all about sacrifice and that’s the biggest thing if you want to win championships, so I think Chris Paul’s at an age where this has to be done in the next one or two years for him, and James is at a place where sign an extension, everything’s good, but he will be judged on winning, and I think with those mindsets they both will try anything to make it work, and I think it will work.”