AUGUST 14: Patton’s contract with the Thunder is a three-year deal that features a team option on the final season, tweets Keith Smith of RealGM. The club had to use a portion of its mid-level exception to go up to three years.
Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights adds (via Twitter) that Patton’s first-year salary is partially guaranteed for $700K. The two non-guaranteed seasons each have July 7 salary guarantee trigger dates, per Siegel.
According to Smith (via Twitter), the Thunder were intrigued by Patton in the 2017 draft, but couldn’t get into position to select him. Oklahoma City is willing to make a modest investment in the big man now in the hopes that it pays off later.
AUGUST 13: Former first-round pick Justin Patton has found a new NBA team, as the Thunder announced today in a press release that they’ve signed the young center to a contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but RealGM’s transactions log classifies it as a multiyear contract.
Patton, the 16th overall pick in the 2017 draft, was sent to Minnesota along with Jimmy Butler in the blockbuster trade that saw Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn head to Chicago. However, the former Creighton big man was plagued by injuries during his first two NBA seasons, breaking bones in both feet.
Patton appeared in just one game for the Timberwolves before being packaged again with Butler in a trade to Philadelphia last fall. The 22-year-old saw action in three games for the Sixers before being waived in April to make room on the roster for Greg Monroe.
The retooling Thunder only have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, plus one player on a two-way deal. So if Patton shows in training camp and during the preseason that he’s healthy and flashes some of the promise that made him a first-round pick in 2017, it’s possible he’ll stick with Oklahoma City into the regular season. Of course, if his salary is fully or partially guaranteed, the odds of him making the 15-man roster would increase significantly.