Justin Patton

Wolves’ Justin Patton Undergoes Foot Surgery

SEPTEMBER 18, 3:07pm: Patton has undergone successful surgery to repair the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, the Timberwolves announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 15, 5:57pm: Patton is scheduled to undergo surgery early this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

SEPTEMBER 15, 5:05pm: Justin Patton‘s bad luck with injuries hasn’t stopped, according to Jace Frederick of The St. Paul Pioneer Press, who reports that the second-year center broke a bone in his right foot this week.

The 16th player taken in the 2017 draft, Patton missed virtually his entire rookie season after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot last summer. He played just one game for Minnesota, seeing four minutes of action. When he was healthy enough to play, the organization kept him in the G League, where he averaged 12.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 38 games for the Iowa Wolves.

Doctors performed a second surgery on Patton’s left foot in April, Frederick notes, to “encourage further healing of a prior metatarsal fracture.” The Timberwolves had been optimistic about Patton’s progress and were hoping to have him cleared for contact in time for training camp.

The latest injury could complicate the Wolves’ thinking on the third-year option for Patton, which must be picked up by October 31. Teams rarely give up on players that quickly, but serious injuries to both feet in two seasons could cause Minnesota think twice about committing a roster spot for Patton for another year.

Timberwolves Notes: Nunnally, Patton, Drama

The Timberwolves could potentially use James Nunnally in Jamal Crawford‘s role, Patrick Reusse of The Star Tribune writes. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has developed a fondness for using a three-guard offense off the bench.

In a comprehensive feature, Reusse details Nunnaly’s path to the Timberwolves in 2018. The swingman went undrafted in 2012 and has made several stops around the NBA and abroad since.

Nunnally has proven that he can be potent deep threat while also contributing defensively. If he can come anywhere close to the .554 he shot from beyond the arc in Germany last year, it will be a marked improvement over the .331 that Crawford shot in 2017/18.

There’s more from the Timberwolves today:

  • The Timberwolves have officially ruled Justin Patton out indefinitely. The team issued a press release that said the center will have surgery in the near future.
  • The upcoming season will have massive implications for the Timberwolves’ future, Drew Maresca of Basketball Insiders writes. At present, only one of the three stars in Minnesota’s locker room are signed long-term. Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns can be free agents next summer.
  • Last night we asked readers to tell us what they think will come of this Timberwolves team. Weigh in at our Community Shootaround.

Thibodeau Shoots Down Chemistry Concerns

Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau shot down reports regarding chemistry issues and Jimmy Butler‘s desire to leave after next season during an appearance at the Minnesota State Fair, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Butler was supposedly unhappy with his younger teammates and looking to pair up with Kyrie Irving when he can enter free agency next summer. Thibodeau said Butler has not voiced any displeasure about his teammates to him.

“I’ve been around a long time, I don’t buy into any of that stuff,” Thibodeau said. “You have to distinguish what’s real and what’s not real. You never heard any of that come from Jimmy’s mouth. It’s always a source close to Jimmy. If Jimmy has something to say to someone, he usually says it directly.”

Thibodeau also said he anticipated that Butler would turn down the team’s extension offer because he could make more in free agency but the franchise is still optimistic on re-signing him.

“We know the position we’re in. We have a lot to offer him. We think this is the best place for him and it’s up to us to show him the reasons why.”

Thibodeau also addressed a number of other topics:

  • He’s also “very optimistic” big man Karl-Anthony Towns will sign a contract extension by the October 15 deadline. “We know how important Karl is to the future of the organization,” Thibodeau said. As we noted in our Extension Candidate series, Towns is likely to sign a max extension.
  • Former Pistons assistant Malik Allen has been added to his coaching staff, replacing Rick Brunson. Allen joined the staff of ex-Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy in 2014. Brunson resigned in May amid allegations of misconduct.
  • Center Justin Patton should be cleared for contact by the start of training camp. The 7-foot Patton, the 16th overall pick in 2017, appeared in just one game last season after undergoing two foot surgeries.

Wolves Notes: Thibodeau, Towns, Aldrich, Patton

Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden hosted a news conference this afternoon to discuss tomorrow’s draft, upcoming free agency, and reports of Karl-Anthony Towns wanting out of Minnesota, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

Despite reports of Towns’ unhappiness, Thibodeau says the relationship between the franchise and its star player is all well, telling reporters that everybody is in a good place.

 “Yeah, yeah. He’s doing quite well. And I love KAT. He has had a terrific start to his career… To get to where we are — obviously we’re not ultimately where we want to be, but it was a major step forward — you can’t do it individually. It’s got to be the whole group doing it together. And for the most part, I think we are in a good place.”

Regarding the draft, the Wolves own the No. 20 and No. 48 picks and Thibodeau said anything remains possible as the team tries to address their needs.

“It’s one of the few times through the year you have a chance to improve the club, so all options are open right now. We know there’s a great challenge in front of us. The shooting and the toughness, the defense and building the depth.”

As for free agency, Layden said that the team would concentrate more on the free agent market once July 1 draws closer, but that he knows the type of player Thibodeau looks for.

“We know the type of player we need to be in coach’s system and to succeed here. I think we have a real good understanding of that now. So whether it’d be trade, whether it be through free agency or the draft, we have a clear understanding of what type of players will fit here.”

There’s more out of Minneapolis:

  • In the same story, Zgoda says he expects the team to buy out backup center Cole Aldrich before the new league year begins next weekend. Aldrich is owed nearly $7MM in 2018/19, but only about $2MM is guaranteed, so the Wolves can significantly reduce his cap hit by cutting him. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News confirms that the salary guarantee deadline for Aldrich is June 30.
  • Another backup center, Justin Patton, whom the Wolves used their first round selection on last year at No. 16, is finally working out after surgery, but Thibodeau says he will miss all summer and likely most of the fall as well, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
  • Krawczynski also tweeted that Layden believes the team is fortunate because their need for wings and shooting line up well with what prospects should still be available at No. 20 tomorrow night.
  • In a separate piece for the Star Tribune, Zgoda takes a look at the prospects the Wolves may be targeting with the No. 20 overall selection, including Grayson AllenDonte DiVincenzoKhyri Thomas, and Jacob Evans.

Timberwolves’ Justin Patton Undergoes Foot Surgery

Timberwolves rookie center Justin Patton is done for the season, with the team announcing overnight in a press release that Patton has undergone surgery on his left foot. He will be out indefinitely, according to the Wolves.

It’s the second time Patton has had surgery on the same foot within the last year. Shortly after he was drafted by the Wolves last summer, the rookie underwent a procedure to repair a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot. The latest surgery is designed to encourage further healing of that same fracture, per the Timberwolves’ announcement.

According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), Minnesota is hopeful that Patton will be ready to go for the start of training camp in the fall. Still, as Krawczynski observes, the nagging foot issues are a concern, since similar foot problems have felled promising NBA big men in the past.

The 16th overall pick in last year’s draft, Patton appeared in just one game for the Wolves during the 2017/18 season, playing four minutes during an April 1 loss to Utah. He did see action in 38 G League games, however, posting 12.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 1.4 BPG in 23.1 minutes per contest.

The Wolves will have to decide this offseason whether to exercise or decline Patton’s $3,117,240 option for the 2019/20 season. Third-year options for players on rookie scale contracts are rarely declined, so I don’t expect the team to turn this one down. Still, the 20-year-old will be under some pressure to make it back from this foot surgery and show some potential on the court in Minnesota next season.

Injury Updates: Mitchell, Embiid, Turner, Lauvergne

Donovan Mitchell will be a game-time decision for the Jazz tonight, according to Kyle Goon of The Salt Lake Tribune. Mitchell, who stubbed a toe during the second half of the series opener with Oklahoma City, plans to go through warm-ups before deciding if he can play.

“If I’m limping or whatever, if I’m out there kinda trying to adjust and not playing right like my normal self, that will dictate it,” he said. “That was really my first time going at it since the game. … I’m waiting to see what I feel right before the game, so we’ll go from there.”

Mitchell, who is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest, was able to return to Sunday’s game after the injury, but has been limited at practice this week. He is Utah’s leading scorer at 20.5 points per game and posted 27 in the series opener.

There’s more injury-related news to pass along:

  • The Sixers are listing Joel Embiid as doubtful for Game 3, the team announced on Twitter. Coach Brett Brown said Embiid, who is recovering from March 31 facial surgery, was able to handle contact “quite well” in Tuesday’s practice, relays Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia (Twitter link). “He did a little bit of contact,” Brown said. “Not much, but a little. Got up and down and scripted some plays. But really not much more than that.” Embiid will be evaluated again at tomorrow’s shootaround (Twitter link).
  • Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner is questionable for Game 3 after suffering a bruised toe last night against the Pelicans, reports Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest. Turner was kicked in his big toe during a scramble for a loose ball and was limping after the game. Jusuf Nurkic, who left Tuesday’s game with a leg bruise, is expected to be OK.
  • The Spurs are listing Joffrey Lauvergne as out for Game 3 because of “personal business,” with no explanation of what that involves, relays Cody McCrary of The San Antonio Express-News.
  • The Timberwolves will be without rookie center Justin Patton tonight because of a sore left foot, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/25/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Rockets have recalled center Zhou Qi from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The 7’1” center has made 14 brief appearances with the Rockets this season. He’s averaging 11.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 2.3 BPG in G League play.
  • The Raptors recalled forward Nigel Hayes from their Raptors 905 affiliate, the team’s media relations staff tweets. Hayes has appeared in 43 G League games this season, averaging 15.0 PPG and 6.1 RPG. He’s also made two cameo appearances for Toronto, which signed him to a second 10-day contract on March 16th.
  • The Timberwolves recalled rookie center Justin Patton from their Iowa affiliate, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The 7-footer averaged 12.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 1.4 BPG for the Iowa Wolves, who did not qualify for the G League playoffs. Patton has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Warriors recalled Damian Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors, the team announced in a press release. The center has averaged 15.0 points and 8.1 boards in 44 games with the affiliate. Also, two-way forward Chris Boucher has also been recalled from Santa Cruz. He appeared in one game with the Warrior.
  • The Suns recalled veteran big man Alan Williams from their G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, as part of his rehab process in returning from a torn right meniscus, per an official press release.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/3/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

10:10pm: The Warriors have assigned rookie Jordan Bell to their affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced in an email. Bell returned to the Golden State lineup this week after missing 14 games with inflammation in his left ankle.

2:22pm:

  • One day after assignment, the Spurs have recalled guards Brandon Paul and Derrick White from their G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, the team announced today in a press release. Paul has averaged 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in 53 games with San Antonio so far this season, while White is averaging 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in 16 contests.
  • The Jazz have assigned rookie Tony Bradley back to the Salt Lake City Stars, per an official press release from the team. Bradley has appeared in 23 games for the Stars this season, averaging 15.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.2 blocks in 29.6 minutes per game.
  • The Timberwolves have reassigned rookie big man Justin Patton to the Iowa Wolves, the team announced today. Patton has appeared in 28 games for Iowa this season, averaging 12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 21.1 minutes per game.
  • The Suns have recalled Davon Reed from the Northern Arizona Suns, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Reed, 22, has averaged 8.0 minutes, 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds per game in seven contests for Phoenix so far this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/2/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves have recalled rookie big man Justin Patton from the G League, according to a team press release. Patton, who has yet to make his NBA debut, may provide some emergency frontcourt depth for Minnesota on Friday night, with Shabazz Muhammad gone and Taj Gibson injured.
  • Cavaliers center Ante Zizic continues to bounce back and forth between the NBA and G League, with the team announcing in a press release that he has been re-assigned to Canton. The Cavs’ G League affiliate will host the Grand Rapids Drive on Friday night, so Zizic should be in Canton’s starting lineup for that game.
  • The Spurs have sent guards Brandon Paul and Derrick White to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. The backcourt duo figures to suit up for the Austin Spurs on Friday night as San Antonio’s G League affiliate hosts the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
  • The Jazz have recalled Tony Bradley from the Salt Lake City Stars, according to the team’s website. Bradley has had 16 trips to the G League this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/22/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.

  • The Cavaliers have recalled rookie center Ante Zizic from their Canton affiliate, the team announced on its website. In 15 games for the Charge, Zizic has averaged 15.7 PPG and 8.9 RPG.
  • The Magic assigned forward Jonathan Isaac to their Lakeland affiliate, according to Orlando’s PR Twitter. Isaac will attend Lakeland’s practice but he is expected to be recalled back to Orlando before the team faces the Knicks on Thursday. Isaac, who has missed almost three months with an ankle injury, is expected to see his first game action tomorrow for the G League squad.
  • The Heat have assigned guard Rodney McGruder to their G League affiliate, the Sioux City Skyforce, the team announced in a press release. McGruder has not appeared in a regular season game after undergoing surgery on a  left tibia stress fracture in mid-October. He is expected to play two G League games on Saturday and Monday before making his NBA return, tweets Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.
  • The Lakers assigned rookie center Thomas Bryant to the South Bay Lakers for their upcoming two-game road trip, according to the G League team’s Twitter feed. Thomas has averaged 19.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 27 games with South Bay.
  • The Timberwolves have assigned rookie center Justin Patton to the G League’s Iowa Wolves, according to the team (Twitter link). Patton has yet to make his NBA debut but has averaged 11.9 PPG for Iowa in 25 games.