Counterpoint as Bulls pivot from Patrick Beverley to Jevon Carter

Beverley turned the Bulls’ season around last year, helping them to a 14-9 record down the stretch and into the play-in tournament. He signed with Philadelphia on Saturday, closing the book on his brief homecoming.

SHARE Counterpoint as Bulls pivot from Patrick Beverley to Jevon Carter
Jevon Carter

Out with Patrick Beverley and in with Jevon Carter, but are the Bulls going to be better for it, especially in late-game situations.

Jeffrey Phelps/AP

The 14-9 record wasn’t a coincidence.

Definitely not in the mind of the always confident Patrick Beverley, nor in the minds of his teammates.

Before the former Marshall standout returned home shortly after the February trade deadline, the Bulls were dead in the water in the Eastern Conference playoff race, looking lifeless.

All Beverley did was flip the switch to that 14-9 finish, as well as a first-round play-in victory against the Raptors, before being eliminated by the Heat.

“The man does everything,’’ veteran forward DeMar DeRozan said of Beverley’s presence during the run. “Electrifying, especially when we’re at home. It gets the crowd going, and you’ve got to feed off of that when you see a guy sacrificing himself for big plays and to save a possession. It carries over from there.’’

Now it will have to play in Philadelphia.

Despite Beverley publicly pleading to run it back on his podcast and through social media, the Bulls went in a different direction in the backcourt, bringing a Chicago native back home, but choosing former Proviso East standout Jevon Carter to fill that spot.

The three-year, $20-million agreement between the Bulls and Carter was announced Friday, leaving Beverley to announce his one-year deal with the 76ers on Saturday. And just like that, the homecoming was over for the say-anything guard.

So are the Bulls a better product than they were before free agency started?

Retaining Coby White was an investment of an arrow that finally started moving up in Season 4.

What Carter hopefully will bring is that disruptive mindset at the point of attack on the defensive end. But unlike Beverley, he also brings a career 40% average from three-point range.

The days of doubling Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, and at times ignoring the likes of Alex Caruso and Beverley from long range, are officially over.

What should concern Bulls fans, however, is Carter always has been a role player, with 39 starts and 22.4 minutes per game last season in Milwaukee, both career highs. If the Bulls plan on starting him, how will that translate in a bigger workload?

Also, Carter isn’t exactly known as a playmaker. The Bulls had numerous issues with late-game offense in close games, with coach Billy Donovan going with a point guard-by-committee approach. The Bulls were 15-23 in clutch-game situations in total last season, and that included a 5-3 record with Beverley.

Carter has important shoes to fill.

“You saw how good we were in the beginning of the season last year [with a healthy Lonzo Ball] and how easy it was for us,’’ guard Zach LaVine said of Beverley’s addition. “Then coming into this year, not really having that 100% point guard that we knew we were going to . . . Coby was incredible, Ayo [Dosunmu] was incredible. I think everybody stepped up in a certain way. But I think it was just tough for us to have a setback like that.

“You saw how much better we were after All-Star break when everyone had their solidified roles. Pat came in to play, a veteran point guard, an elite guard that’s been in big games and big situations. And we thrived.’’

The Latest
Someone opened fire into a crowd gathered in the 9500 block of South Merrill Avenue, Chicago police said.
The former Stevenson High School star could have made $113 million more if he had waited to sign a contract next year.
What we know so far about the suspected shooter, 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. The attack could alter the tenor and security posture at the Republican National Convention, which will begin Monday in Milwaukee.
Two men exited a vehicle and began talking to a man in the 5400 block of Wells Street before opening fire about 7:55 a.m.
Her illness was publicly revealed in a lawsuit filed in 2015 against her former business managers, in which she alleged they mismanaged her money and allowed her health insurance to lapse. She later shared intimate details of her treatment following a single mastectomy.