Why PatBev chose Bulls over Warriors after Magic buyout

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Patrick Beverley is headed to the Chicago Bulls, but the 34-year-old guard could have ended up in a Warriors jersey.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first broke the news Monday that Beverley and the Bulls were finalizing a contract after the former Los Angeles Laker cleared waivers from an Orlando Magic buyout.

Beverley confirmed the report on social media, then took to "The Pat Bev Podcast" and revealed his decision came down to two teams: Chicago and Golden State.

"It was between Golden State and the Bulls," Beverley said. "Obviously, it's always good to play with a lot of great talent in Golden State, but a lot of guards over there, you know. So I figured I could make a playoff push with the Bulls right now and kind of pump them up a little bit. The [Eastern Conference is] kind of weak. I'm excited, man. I'm excited."

Coming out of the All-Star break, the Bulls sit two games back from a potential play-in tournament berth as the East's No. 11 seed. In the Western Conference, the Warriors are in the mix in ninth place.

Beverley's decision doesn't come as a complete surprise, as the three-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection was born and raised in Chicago. His production during the 2022-23 NBA season has been lower than usual, but the veteran has averaged 7.9 points and 2.7 assists since Dec. 9 while shooting 42.4 percent from 3-point range.

Now in his 12th NBA season, Beverley has established a reputation as gritty defender -- something Golden State could have benefitted from as it makes its own push for the playoffs.

Beverley said on his podcast he already had spoken with Warriors vice president of basketball operations Mike Dunleavy Jr., but the guard made his decision to sign with the Bulls before a scheduled meeting with coach Steve Kerr could take place. Beverley didn't clarify if Golden State had extended a contract offer to him.

“They kept it real with me, like, ‘We don’t want you to wait, Pat, if this is an opportunity you want to take, go ahead, we respect it, we know there’s a lot of teams after you,' ” Beverley said. “So, I felt like the Bulls were the best fit. I appreciate Golden State. I appreciate the opportunity that was there, if it was there. It worked out the way it was supposed to.”

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Beverley is one of several buyout-market players to join a new team this past week, along with Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Dewayne Dedmon, to name a few.

Whether or not the Warriors make a move of their own remains to be seen.

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