Lakers Rumors: Pat Beverley's Role Revealed with Russell Westbrook, Dennis Schröder

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 18, 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

With Russell Westbrook still on the roster and Dennis Schröder recently signed, don't expect Patrick Beverley to play much point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, "sources say Beverley is regarded internally by the club as a 3-and-D wing and not as a point guard at this stage of his career. The Lakers, in other words, see Westbrook and Schröder as their point guards as of Sept. 18... and the likes of Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV as 2s and 3s."

Even if Westbrook is eventually traded, most of the playmaking duties will run through LeBron James, so Beverley wouldn't be playing as an on-ball creator much regardless.

That probably suits his skill set. The 34-year-old is a dogged perimeter defender who has shot 37.8 percent from three for his career, making him a strong 3-and-D option. But while he averaged 4.6 assists per game last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he hasn't traditionally been a plus facilitator.

And while there will be some questions about whether he might be at a disadvantage as a wing defender against taller players at the position, given his 6'1" stature, Beverley has proven to be a pest in that regard throughout his career.

Of course, the Westbrook trade rumors are going to persist into the season until he proves he can actually fit next to James and Anthony Davis. That seems unlikely—Westbrook is a ball-dominant point guard who shoots poorly from the perimeter (30.5 percent from three over his career, 29.8 percent from three last season) and hurts the team's floor spacing.

Add in that he isn't a great defender, and he's a tough fit next to James, who traditionally has thrived alongside 3-and D role players. That's where Beverley is a more seamless fit with his new superstar teammates.

For now, a starting lineup of Westbrook, Beverley, James, Davis and Thomas Bryant seems likely, with Schröder, Reaves, Nunn, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones, among others, coming off the bench. But a possible Westbrook trade looms nonetheless, and will remain a storyline throughout the season.