Patrick Beverley was in top form as a heel during his ESPN tour yesterday. He especially went in on the Phoenix Suns who were shockingly eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7, and Chris Paul in particular incurred much of his wrath. Devin Booker caught some of it too, but Beverley wasn't on the network just to take shots.
He came to the defense of his former teammate James Harden and urged the Sixers to give him whatever contract he asks for. Harden's decline this season has been a hot topic of conversation, with many wondering if the Sixers would be making a huge mistake by giving him a supermax or a big long-term deal. Beverley for his part believes we will see the old Harden next season. When discussing the topic on First Take on ESPN, he also had this to say.
"I challenge James Harden to make sure his mental preparation is correct. To make sure his body is correct, to make sure that he takes a summer to take care of his body and he will do that because he hates being embarrassed. Trust me that's literally my twin, I know him better than anybody. He is going to take his summer, he is going to take his body seriously, he has to. He has got all these people up here talking about him."
Beverley does seem very much in the minority when it comes to this topic, however. Harden averaged just 18.2 points per game on 40.5% shooting from the field in the Conference Semifinals against the Miami Heat and his lack of aggressiveness in the games was heavily criticized by the media.
It is an important off-season once again for the Sixers front office after all the Ben Simmons drama last year and President Daryl Morey insisted that they wanted Harden to come back next season. It remains to be seen just how effective he will be in the years to come, but for the sake of the Sixers, we hope we see an improved version next season.