For the last four seasons, Patrick Beverley has been the heart and soul of the LA Clippers. This title, while fitting, often did him a disservice when uttered without acknowledgement of his actual basketball ability. Beverley was absolutely the heart and soul of the Clippers as the franchise was transitioning out of the Lob City era; however, he was also much more than that.
During his time with the Clippers, Patrick Beverley often took on the challenge of guarding the opposing team's best player while facilitating the Clippers' offense on the other end. He did both jobs exceptionally well, which is why the Clippers were always a much better team when he was out there.
Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank recognizes what Beverley meant to both the team's play and the team's culture, and addressed that in a media appearance on Friday afternoon. When asked about trading Beverley, Frank said, "I love Pat. Pat is a great, great dude. Pat embodies a lot of the qualities that we valued... to trade Pat was extremely painful." Frank went on to add that Beverley will forever be a part of their lives, and will have a huge impact in Minnesota.
In his four years with the Clippers, Beverley appeared in 177 regular season games for the Clippers, and 31 more in the playoffs. He had countless memorable moments, but perhaps his biggest impact came just months before being traded.
After being strategically benched in the opening round, Patrick Beverley was deployed for a much larger role against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz in the conference semis. As the eye test, individual numbers, and series results show, Beverley answered the call.
In the 45 possessions that Beverley guarded Donovan Mitchell in the playoffs, Mitchell scored just 10 points on 23% from the field, turned the ball over 4 times, and was blocked 5 times. In the 72 minutes that Mitchell and Beverley shared the court, the Clippers were a +29.
This defensive dominance carried over into the Western Conference Finals against an equally difficult opponent in Devin Booker. After Booker put up a 40-point triple double in game one of the WCF, Ty Lue inserted Patrick Beverley into the starting lineup for the remainder of the series. In the 110 possessions that Beverley guarded Booker, Booker shot just 28% from the field, turned the ball over 7 times, and did not make a single three-point basket.
While the Beverley trade was admittedly painful for both the fans and the organization, his impact is going to be felt for a long time. He was the heart and soul of the Clippers during one of the most transformative eras in franchise history.