Bulls bring Patrick Beverley home to fill point-guard spot

A source confirmed that Beverley is expected to sign with the Bulls after hitting the open market. The Chicago native, who played high school ball at Waubonsie Valley and Marshall, might bring some much-needed life to the court and locker room.

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Patrick Beverley’s strength at this point in his career is that he’s a tough-minded irritant, determined to do whatever he must to try to win a game.

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If the Bulls’ season is slipping away, executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas isn’t going to let it happen quietly.

Case in point: Since when has Chicago native Patrick Beverley ever done anything quietly?

A source Monday confirmed a report that the Bulls are expected to sign Beverley for the rest of the season. The never-boring guard was dealt from the Lakers to the Magic at the trade deadline, then waived.

Was Beverley the Bulls’ first choice on the buyout market? No. They initially had discussions with guard Russell Westbrook before he opted to play for the Clippers earlier in the day.

But that doesn’t mean Beverley isn’t the best choice for them. He helps a bit in terms of three-point shooting, sporting a career mark of 37.6% from long range, and while he’s not the in-your-face defender he was a few years ago, he’s still good on the ball and in team defense.

Beverley can run an offense well enough and is good at limiting turnovers. His real strength at this point in his career, however, is that he’s a tough-minded irritant, determined to do whatever he must to try to win a game.

That strength is something the Bulls have lacked. That’s evident by their six-game losing streak, as well as all their blown leads, especially late in games.

With the Bulls ruling out guard Lonzo Ball (left knee) for the rest of this season, Beverley — who played high school ball at Waubonsie Valley and Marshall — can help to stabilize the inconsistent point-guard-by-committee coach Billy Donovan has been using in the fourth quarter.

What Karnisovas and the front office should be weighing, however, is whether Beverley can change the trajectory of the Bulls’ season and whether it even is worth trying to do so at this point.

The Bulls are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and would have to jump past five teams to move out of play-in territory. Considering the sixth-place Knicks are 6½ games ahead of the Bulls and the seventh-place Heat are six games ahead of them, you can forget that climb. (It should be noted, however, that both those teams have tougher schedules than the Bulls the rest of the way.)

The teams the Bulls can catch are the eighth-place Hawks, ninth-place Wizards and 10th-place Raptors, but so what? The chances of the Bulls making the eight-team playoff field in the East is at 8% now, according to FiveThirtyEight.

The odds they should be taking more interest in are the 7.5% chance they have to land the No. 1 overall pick to select 7-2 center Victor Wembanyama or the 7.8% chance they have to get the No. 2 pick to select point guard Scoot Henderson.

Heck, they are only a half-game ahead of the 12th-place Pacers and two ahead of the 13th-place Magic. Falling behind those teams would raise their odds of landing the first or second pick to 10.5% each.

The Bulls will keep their protected first-round pick out of the Magic’s hands if they can land in the top four of the lottery. The odds of them doing that are 32% now, according to Tankathon.com. If they drop down two spots and bump the Magic and Pacers up, those odds would increase to 42.1%.

With the Ball news coming, Beverley should be there to mentor guard Ayo Dosunmu and forward Patrick Williams for next season. This season should be about playing the odds. That means the Bulls should ‘‘load manage’’ guard Zach LaVine’s left knee and really make sure forward DeMar DeRozan’s hip is completely healed — as in late March — before playing him again.

But that won’t be easy for them to do now.

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