Patrick Beverley 'Wouldn't Even Hesitate' to Join LeBron James, Lakers If He Were FA

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 16, 2022

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley (22) plays in the first half during Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Patrick Beverley is under contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2022-23 season. But if he weren't, one team he apparently would consider is the Los Angeles Lakers, to play alongside LeBron James.

"If I was a free agent and if me and Minnesota didn't agree to a number, yes," Beverley said on ESPN's This Just In when Max Kellerman asked him if he would want to play for the Lakers. "I wouldn't even hesitate. Just to be able to play with a great like [James], be able to pick his brain, be able to be a star in whatever role that I have, playing alongside Russell Westbrook...fantastic. Playing for the Lakers, couldn't ask for a better job."

It was a little surprising to hear Beverley cite playing alongside Westbrook as a perk of being on the Lakers after he seemed to revel in talking trash to him during a March matchup between the teams, alongside Karl-Anthony Towns:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Pat Bev appears to call Russ "trash" after a steal 👀 <a href="https://t.co/Da0uVeHJOQ">pic.twitter.com/Da0uVeHJOQ</a>

Yahoo Sports NBA @YahooSportsNBA

KAT's reaction to this airball from Russ 💀<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/shaqtin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@shaqtin</a>) <a href="https://t.co/8FvYva0gii">pic.twitter.com/8FvYva0gii</a>

Beverley, 33, went on quite the smack-talking tour on Monday across a variety of ESPN shows, putting his crosshairs on the recently eliminated Phoenix Suns and Chris Paul in particular:

First Take @FirstTake

“Ain’t nobody afraid of anybody over there in Phoenix, man. Everybody in the league knows that.”<br><br>.<a href="https://twitter.com/patbev21?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@patbev21</a>, tell us how you really feel about the Suns 👀 <a href="https://t.co/GlxSAXUrq5">pic.twitter.com/GlxSAXUrq5</a>

ESPN @espn

“CP can’t guard nobody man. Everybody in the NBA know that. ... He’s a cone. ... Give him the Ben Simmons slander.”<br><br>👀 <a href="https://twitter.com/patbev21?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@patbev21</a><br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/GetUpESPN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GetUpESPN</a>) <a href="https://t.co/9bh8HOdJ0J">pic.twitter.com/9bh8HOdJ0J</a>

The Lakers, of course, were quite the mess in the 2021-22 season, finishing 33-49. The issues ran deep, as Westbrook proved to be a poor fit next to James and Anthony Davis, and the rest of the roster construction lacked players with the ability to defend at a high level or stretch the floor.

Fair or not, the man who was sacrificed for those shortcomings was former head coach Frank Vogel, with the position still vacant and reports that previous members of the organization's brain trust like Phil Jackson and Magic Johnson have re-emerged within Jeanie Buss' inner circle.

But the Lakers still have one of the most iconic histories in American sports, and living in sunny Los Angeles is always a selling point. Add in the chance to play alongside one of the greatest players ever to step on a basketball court, and most role players would eagerly sign up to join the Lakers, warts and all.

Even Beverley—who isn't afraid to kick a franchise when its down, like he did to Phoenix on Monday—would sign up for that.