Justin Patton

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/15/20

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

NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Northwest Division

Over the course of the 2019/20 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

After identifying three Northwest trade candidates in November and three more in December, including one who was dealt shortly thereafter, we’re returning to the division today to identify another three players who could be dealt by February 6. Let’s dive in…

Robert Covington, F
Minnesota Timberwolves
$11.3MM cap hit; $12.1MM guaranteed salary in 2020/21; $13.0MM guaranteed salary in 2021/22

Covington is one of the more intriguing potential trade chips on the market. Barring a huge second-half push led by Karl-Anthony Towns, the 15-24 Timberwolves are likely lottery-bound, so it makes sense for the team to be sellers at the deadline. However, Covington still has two more years on his contract beyond this season – at a very reasonable price – and is the sort of player a retooling team might want to hang onto.

As a strong perimeter defender and a reliable three-point shooter, Covington should draw interest from virtually every contender. There are some teams that wouldn’t necessarily be suitable trade partners for Minnesota due to a lack of salary-matching options or valuable assets, but it’s hard to find a club that wouldn’t be an on-court fit for the 29-year-old forward.

New Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas spent most of the last two decades with the Rockets, whose front office always prioritized chasing superstars. If Rosas has brought that philosophy to Minnesota, it will be interesting to see what sort of return he’d seek for Covington. Getting a star in return is unlikely, but perhaps the Wolves could acquire draft picks and/or prospects that could be used as the foundation of a package for an impact player down the road.

Juan Hernangomez, PF
Denver Nuggets
$3.3MM cap hit; RFA in 2020

Jerami Grant‘s arrival and Michael Porter Jr.‘s return to health have made the Nuggets a deeper and more dangerous team than they were last season. However, what’s been good for the franchise hasn’t been good for Hernangomez’s playing time — he’s averaging just 11.9 minutes per game and frequently gets DNP-CDs after logging 19.4 MPG in 70 contests a year ago.

Hernangomez, who has played at least 20 minutes in a game just once since December 8, could reclaim an increased role if the Nuggets are hit by injuries at some point, but it’s not as if he’s been all that effective even when he gets to play. His 3.0 PPG, .356 FG%, and .267 3PT% are all career lows.

With potential restricted free agency on tap for Hernangomez this summer, it might be in everyone’s best interests to grant the 24-year-old Spaniard a change of scenery. Unless the Nuggets still envision the fourth-year forward as a long-term rotation player, trying to extract a second-round pick for him now – or including him in a larger package for an upgrade – would make sense.

Justin Patton, C
Oklahoma City Thunder
$1.6MM cap hit; $1.76MM non-guaranteed salary in 2020/21; $1.9MM team option in 2021/22

Patton is the sort of under-the-radar trade candidate whose status is more important for financial reasons than it is for on-court ones. After all, the third-year big man has appeared in just four games this season, playing a total of 14 minutes. He’s not a difference-maker for the Thunder and wouldn’t be more than a project for any team acquiring him.

However, with the Thunder approximately $922K over the tax line – per Early Bird Rights – the idea of moving Patton might appeal to the team. Trading away the 22-year-old at the deadline and then replacing him with a player on a prorated minimum-salary within the next couple weeks would allow Oklahoma City to get out of the tax for the 2019/20 season.

Of course, the penalty for finishing $922K over the tax wouldn’t be significant. But the Thunder have been a taxpayer for the last two years and would be subject to repeater penalties this season – and going forward – if they finish in the tax again this spring. Plus, sneaking below that threshold would mean profiting from the payments made by other taxpayers.

Unless they’re committed to Patton’s development or make another trade that gets them below the tax line, I’d be surprised if the Thunder don’t make a move involving the center.

Revisit the rest of our 2019/20 Trade Candidate series right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/14/20

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

  • The Thunder have assigned Justin Patton to the G League, according to the team’s website. Patton has appeared in 22 games for the Oklahoma City Blue, averaging 10.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.77 blocks per game.
  • The Kings are sending Wenyen Gabriel and Justin James to the Stockton Kings, per the team’s Twitter feed.  Neither player has received consistent playing time with the NBA club this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/11/20

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

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/10/20

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

  • The Thunder assigned guard Deonte Burton and center Justin Patton to the Oklahoma City Blue for the G League affiliate’s game against Raptors 905, according to a team press release. Burton has played in 21 games with the Thunder this season, averaging 2.3 PPG in 8.4 MPG. Patton has made three brief appearances with the Thunder this season.
  • The Clippers recalled guard Terance Mann from the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-round rookie has appeared in 22 games with the NBA club this season, averaging 2.4 PPG in 9.2 MPG.
  • The Knicks assigned rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis to their Westchester affiliate, the team’s PR department tweets. The former University of Michigan standout has appeared in nine games with the NBA Knicks this season, averaging 1.9 PPG in 5.9 MPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/5/20

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

  • The Clippers have recalled guard Terance Mann and center Mfiondu Kabengele from their G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, according to the team’s public relations department. Los Angeles hosted New York at Staples Center on Sunday night.
  • The Wizards assigned forward Admiral Schofield to the Capital City Go-Go, announcing the news on social media. The Go-Go hosted the Oklahoma City Blue earlier today, with Schofield recording 19 points and 10 rebounds in a win.
  • The Nuggets assigned Jarred Vanderbilt to the Windy City Bulls, the team announced on social media. Vanderbilt was drafted with the No. 41 overall pick back in 2018.
  • The Thunder have recalled center Justin Patton from the Oklahoma City Blue, general manager Sam Presti announced today. Patton is averaging 10.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 21 games with the Blue this season.

Northwest Notes: Porter Jr., Patton, Wolves, Gilgeous-Alexander

Forward Michael Porter Jr. has solidified his spot in the Nuggets’ rotation and he may even become a regular starter sooner rather than later, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post. It’s unlikely that Porter will supplant Will Barton in the lineup despite his 25-point outburst against Indiana but it’s not out of the question, Singer continues. It’s a safer bet that Porter carves out a significant role down the stretch as a microwave-type scorer off the bench, Singer adds.

We have more from around the Northwest Division:

  • The Thunder‘s Justin Patton is the player most likely to be dealt over the next week, according to The Athletic’s John Hollinger. Patton’s $1.62MM salary becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on their roster through January 7 and the Thunder are currently $750,250 into the luxury tax threshold. The center could only be acquired by one of the nine teams with workable trade exceptions, or by the Hawks via cap room, Hollinger adds.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been impressed with the Timberwolves’ unheralded young players, as he told reporters including Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “What I see with the Wolves is similar to what I see with our team, in that suddenly a bunch of young guys get their chance, and they play hard,” Kerr said. “For Minnesota to go to Milwaukee, play the best team in the league down the wire, without (Karl-Anthony) Towns and (Andrew) Wiggins, it shows you what a young team is capable of, just competing.”
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has established himself as one of the league’s top second-year players, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. The second-year Thunder guard, the centerpiece of the Paul George deal with the Clippers from Oklahoma City’s perspective, is averaging 19.9 PPG while mainly playing the off-guard spot after averaging 10.8 PPG in his rookie year as a point man.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/5/19

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the league:

  • The Knicks have recalled rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis from the Westchester Knicks, according to a tweet from the team’s PR department. The 6’6″ Michigan forward has appeared in six games for New York.
  • The Celtics have assigned rookie center Vincent Poirier to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, the team tweets. The seven-foot French rookie has seen sparse action in Boston, averaging just 4.6 minutes across seven games.
  • The Hornets have assigned rookie small forward Cody Martin to the Greensboro Swarm, the team tweets. Martin has appeared in 16 games for the Hornets, averaging 11.8 minutes. He is shooting just 35.7% from the floor.
  • The Thunder have assigned center Justin Patton to the Oklahoma City Blue, a team press release reports. The well-traveled Creighton alum is averaging 10.3 points, 7.5 boards, and 2.0 blocks across eight games for the Blue. He has suited up for two games with the Thunder this season.
  • The Pistons have assigned rookie wing Sekou Doumbouya to the Grand Rapids Drive, Rod Beard of The Detroit News reports. The 18 year-old Doumbouya, the N0. 15 pick in the 2019 draft, is averaging 16.6 PPG and 5.4 RPG for the Drive, while shooting 39% on his long-range attempts. He has made four NBA appearances for the Pistons to date.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/4/19

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Bucks assigned power forward Dragan Bender to the Wisconsin Herd, the team’s PR department tweets. The fourth overall pick of the 2016 draft has averaged 21 PPG and 10 RPG in five starts with the Herd.
  • The Knicks assigned rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis to the Westchester Knicks, the team’s PR department tweets. He’s appeared in six games with the NBA Knicks, averaging 7.0 MPG in those outings.
  • The Cavaliers assigned rookie swingman Dylan Windler to the Canton Charge, the team’s PR department tweets. He has yet to make his NBA debut. The first-rounder is working his way back into basketball shape after recovering from a leg injury.
  • The Pacers recalled Victor Oladipo and Edmond Sumner from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team tweets. They practiced with the Mad Ants as part of their injury rehabs. There is no timetable for their return, the team adds.
  • The Clippers assigned center Mfiondu Kabengele to the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team tweets. The rookie first-rounder out of Florida State has appeared in six NBA games, averaging 3.8 MPG in those outings.
  • The Hawks recalled rookie forward Bruno Fernando and guard Tyrone Wallace from the College Park Skyhawks, the team tweets. Fernando, a second-round pick, is averaging 4.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 12.7 MPG while playing 21 games with the NBA team. Wallace has averaged 3.1 PPG in 12.0 MPG in 13 games with Atlanta.
  • The Thunder recalled center Justin Patton from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. In eight games with the Blue, Patton is averaging 10.3 PPG and  7.5 RPG in 26.2 MPG.
  • The Hornets recalled Cody Martin from the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. The rookie guard appeared in three games with the Swarm, where he averaged 14.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 5.3 APG in 34.3 MPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/29/19

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

  • The Hornets assigned rookie forward Cody Martin to the G League today, the team announced in a press release. Suiting up for the Greensboro Swarm for the first time against the Capital City Go-Go, Martin recorded 11 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in a 108-94 win.
  • The Bucks sent former lottery pick Dragan Bender to the Wisconsin Herd for Friday’s game against Erie, according to the team (Twitter link). Bender has logged just two minutes for Milwaukee this season, but is becoming a fixture for the Herd, having averaged 21.5 PPG and 9.8 RPG in four games entering tonight’s contest.
  • The Suns re-assigned rookie guard Ty Jerome to the G League for Friday’s contest vs. Sioux Falls, tweets Gina Mizell of The Athletic. Jerome, who is recovering from an ankle sprain, has yet to make his NBA regular-season debut.
  • Forwards Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan were assigned to the G League by the Kings, the team announced in a press release. The duo will play tonight for the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s NBAGL affiliate.
  • Former first-round center Justin Patton continues to bounce back and forth between the NBA and the G League, having been sent to the Oklahoma City Blue today by the Thunder, per a team release. It’s the fifth NBAGL assignment this month for Patton.