The Milwaukee Bucks have desperately needed some perimeter defense and a player off the bench whom Doc Rivers — or any coach — can rely on to give them good minutes. Milwaukee is trying to rectify that by acquiring Patrick Beverley from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Cameron Payne and a future second-round pick.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 8, 2024
BREAKING: @patbev21 to the Milwaukee Bucks
— Pat Bev Pod (@PatBevPod) February 8, 2024
As you can see, Beverley’s podcast account confirmed the trade news. This gives the Bucks a much more reliable backup guard than what they’ve had, but is it enough to give them proper depth and defense? Let’s bust out the red ink and throw down some trade grades.
Bucks acquire Patrick Beverley
Let’s acknowledge the funniest part about this trade: Damian Lillard and Patrick Beverley appear to not like each other at all.
Beverley has tried to get in the head of Lillard before, talked a lot of trash and had the infamous mocking of Lillard missing two free throws a few years ago in the bubble in Orlando. That’s when Lillard reminded everybody that he’s sent PatBev and Paul George home from the playoffs before. I’m guessing Lillard and Beverley will be good teammates and put their feelings aside to try to work toward a championship, but it’s funny to imagine their first time in the locker room interacting as teammates.
With that said, this is a very good upgrade for the Bucks, even if Beverley isn’t quite an impact player anymore. Payne wasn’t getting it done as a reliable backup point guard. He shot the ball well and moved it a little, but his defense is so bad that you can’t play him alongside Lillard. The Bucks were simply trying to survive Payne’s 14.9 minutes per game. Beverley is not the defender he once was, but he’s a pretty reliable and underrated 3-point shooter (37.1 percent for his career).
I think Rivers can play him in a lot of different lineups, including alongside Lillard. We’ve seen Beverley be a nuisance to bigger guards before, and he’ll at least give the defense’s backline an extra couple of seconds to rotate as a defensive pest on the perimeter. Adding any depth and versatility to this team’s rotation is big for its championship hopes.
76ers acquire Cameron Payne, future second-round pick
With the acquisition of Buddy Hield, maybe the Sixers weren’t certain they had room in the rotation for Beverley anymore. Or maybe Daryl Morey really believes in Payne as a backup to Tyrese Maxey. Or maybe he really believes that second-round pick of the future will end up giving them the next Draymond Green or Nikola Jokić. Regardless, I don’t love this trade for the Sixers. They could get plenty of options as a backup point guard that can at least fake some defensive resistance. Payne can shoot the ball, even with his funky shooting motion, so he’s not a zero for them.
He’ll be able to provide 10-15 minutes per game of competent offense. I just don’t see this as an upgrade, nor do I think the second-round pick is likely to be great compensation down the road. And that’s all with the understanding that it’s not a guarantee Beverley can make a consistent impact anymore.
(Photo of Patrick Beverley: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)