When the Los Angeles Lakers traded Talen Horton-Tucker, a young guard who hadn’t panned out after a promising start, and forward Stanley Johnson for veteran guard Patrick Beverley, some felt it was a shrewd move.
The thinking was that Beverley would give the Lakers some much-needed defense and toughness on the perimeter, as well as some even more much-needed 3-point shooting.
While Beverley, at times, has given them that defense and toughness, his 3-point shooting has been lacking.
Over his first 15 games, his 3-point shooting was as cold as Vermont during a polar vortex. He was hitting just 23.4 percent from downtown, and even worse, he was at 26.8 percent overall.
Lakers fans were calling for Beverley to be traded, or at least to be removed from the starting lineup.
But lately, he has turned things around, and even though plenty of people may not have noticed, it has been a pleasant surprise who those who have.
Beverley's December numbers have been very strong
In 12 games so far in December, Beverley has been shooting 50.0 percent overall and 39.5 percent from 3-point range. Those numbers are in line with his career averages; in fact, his overall shooting accuracy is well above his lifetime mark of 41.3 percent.
He may be following the same type of path he went down last season, when he was at 40.7 percent overall and 31.2 percent from downtown in his first 32 contests, only to improve those figures to 40.4 and 37.6 percent, respectively, over his final 26 games.
The Lakers may still trade him, especially since his expiring $13 million contract could offer salary cap relief to some other team. But if they don’t, he may just have some value to offer them moving forward if he keeps up his play of late.