Justin Patton

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Bulls, Rozier, Knox

The Pistons began their in-market training camp on Wednesday with several players from their G League affiliate participating, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News (Twitter link). Tre’Shawn Thurman, Tra-Deon Hollins, Adam Woodbury, Khalil Iverson, and Craig Sword all played with the Grand Rapids Drive this season.

Beard also reports (via Twitter) that Pistons center Justin Patton had surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right pinky finger. Additionally, Tony Snell returned home for personal reasons, and Jordan McRae will not be participating in the team portion of the in-market camp.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Bulls have reportedly hired Vanja Cernivec as an international scout, per Daniel Greenberg (Twitter link; h/t Real GM). Cernivec spent the last five years working in the NBA’s office in Spain as manager of basketball operations. He also played professional basketball in Slovenia.
  • After wrapping up his first season with the Hornets, Terry Rozier is ready to take on a larger role, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “I’ve had a lot of time over six months to figure out how I can be a better leader: Get to the guys, talk to them how they like it,” Rozier said. The combo guard averaged 18.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.1 APG this season, after inking a three-year free-agent deal last summer with Charlotte. Rozier also spoke about how hard its been not being able to play in an organized game in six months. “I’m not going to sugar-coat and say, ‘Ah, six months is nothing.’ It’s been tough on all of us.”
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is hoping that assistant coach Kenny Payne can help unlock Kevin Knox‘s potential, writes Marc Berman of the New Post. Knox has struggled to find his footing since being selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. This season, he averaged a modest 6.4 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 17.9 MPG, but Thibodeau has been impressed with the 21-year-old in the team’s in-market training camp. “Kevin’s come in and he’s done quite a bit of work,’’ Thibodeau said. “I’m getting to know him and he’s getting to know me and it will take some time. But I like what he’s done so far.”

Central Notes: Dunn, Maker, Doumbouya, Osman

Guard Kris Dunn won’t participate in the Bulls’ mini-camp, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reports. Dunn’s absence was expected, since he’s headed to free agency. The Bulls will have to extend him a qualifying offer of $7.1MM to make him a restricted free agent. Dunn didn’t play after January 31, when he suffered a sprained right MCL. His right knee is now healthy but he doesn’t want to take any chances of getting injured without a contract, Johnson adds.

We have more on the Central Division:

  • Some of the Pistons’ roster decisions could be sorted out during their mini-camp, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Big men Thon Maker and Justin Patton may be competing for a roster spot, as Maker can either be a restricted or unrestricted free agent while Patton has a non-guaranteed deal. Swingman Khyri Thomas and two-way players Jordan Bone and Louis King might also need a strong showing for the club to retain them.
  • Pistons guard Bruce Brown believes forward Sekou Doumbouya will blossom in his second season, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Doumbouya saw significant playing time as a rookie due to Blake Griffin‘s knee injury, but his production was highly inconsistent. “He’s got something to prove this summer, coming in with a chip on his shoulder,” Brown said. “He’s working on his game hard; he’s working on big-man stuff and guard stuff. He’s definitely put in the work and it’s going to be a good year for him.”
  • Cedi Osman isn’t participating in the Cavaliers’ mini-camp. He’s not on the list of players that the club released, as Eric Woodyard of ESPN tweets. Osman, a Turkish citizen, is apparently still overseas. The Cavs will have 15 players come in, including four G League players — Sir’Dominic Pointer, Marques Bolden, Levi Randolph and Vincent Edwards.

Pistons Notes: Tellem, Griffin, Wood, Patton

The Pistons are overhauling their front office this summer, hiring Troy Weaver as their new general manager and David Mincberg as an assistant GM, as former assistant GMs Malik Rose and Pat Garrity leave the organization.

Although Weaver is ostensibly atop the basketball operations hierarchy, basketball decisions figure to be something of a group effort. Senior advisor Ed Stefanski, who has served as the de facto head of basketball operations for the last two years, is still in the picture. And according to Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, sources around the NBA believe that vice chairman Arn Tellem “still has a significant voice in front office matters.”

The changing landscape in Detroit makes it unclear whose voice will be the loudest if there’s any disagreement on which player to draft in the lottery this fall. However, Vecenie – who has the Pistons picking seventh in his latest mock – suggests that Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton would be a nice fit, since he’s versatile to play alongside either Luke Kennard or Derrick Rose, if one of the two is traded.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • James L. Edwards III and John Hollinger of The Athletic examine the Pistons’ future, with Hollinger arguing there’s no urgency to trade Blake Griffin and suggesting that Detroit should be reluctant to re-sign Christian Wood if the cost is higher than about $15-16MM annually.
  • A first-round pick in 2017, Justin Patton has yet to enjoy much success at the NBA level, but the Pistons will give him a chance to earn a place on next year’s roster, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. While Patton is unlikely to replicate Wood’s success, Langlois points out that the signing of Patton is a low-risk, high-upside move not unlike last summer’s Wood waiver claim.
  • Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press revisits Detroit’s pick of Kennard at No. 12 in the 2017 draft, noting that the sharpshooter has been one of the team’s more productive draft picks in recent years, even if Pistons fans would rather have one of the two players selected right after him (Donovan Mitchell or Bam Adebayo).

Pistons Notes: Gores, Weaver, Patton, Mykhailiuk

Pistons owner Tom Gores is confident that new general manager Troy Weaver is the right choice to work with coach Dwane Casey, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Ed Stefanski has been running the front office while Detroit has been without a GM for the past two years, and Gores envisions them all operating together.

“There’ll be a nice divide-and-conquer coming in and again that’s why I trust Troy to come in as someone smart enough to leverage resources,” Gores said. “At a high level, we’ll work all this out in the detail. Really, Troy and Ed and Dwane will work on a day-to-day basis with each other, and Troy will have normal — and even higher than normal — GM responsibilities and he’s got a lot to learn. He’s going to get on the ground and know each player well and connect with (Casey) and so on and then as it bubbles up to ownership, (vice chairman) Arn (Tellem) and I — if there’s big decisions that need to be made — we’ll all gather.”

The management team will face two chances to set the direction for the future this fall with the draft, where the Pistons have a shot at a high lottery pick, and free agency, where the team could have as much as $30MM in cap space.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Weaver made his first move with the Pistons this week, signing former first-round pick Justin Patton to a deal that’s non-guaranteed for next season. Weaver also took a chance on Patton last summer when he was in the Thunder’s front office, points out Omar Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Injuries have limited Patton to just nine NBA games, but he remains an intriguing center prospect at age 23.
  • The Pistons used about half of their remaining non-taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Patton, tweets John Hollinger of The Athletic. That means they can offer a similar contract to another player before the NBA’s transaction window closes Tuesday night, if they so choose.
  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk developed into an important offensive weapon after moving into the starting lineup and appears to be part of the rebuilding process, writes Lauren Williams of MLive“Physically, right away you can see the things that he brings to the table, but I think he grew this year and sort of his mental approach, and also just his confidence that he can impact the game in more ways than just shooting,” Blake Griffin said. “I think next year will be a big year for him. He’s put in a lot of work and I feel like he’s taking that step.”

Pistons Sign Justin Patton

2:32pm: Patton’s new deal includes a non-guaranteed second year worth the minimum, sources tell James L. Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

2:25pm: The Pistons have signed free agent center Justin Patton to a contract, the team announced today in a press release. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it figures to be a multiyear deal, since Detroit won’t be part of the resumed NBA season next month.

Patton, the 16th overall pick in the 2017 draft, was plagued by injuries during his first two NBA seasons with the Timberwolves and Sixers, breaking bones in both feet and appearing in just four total games. He signed with Oklahoma City last summer, playing in five games for the Thunder before being traded to Dallas and subsequently waived.

In 30 total G League games for the Oklahoma City Blue and the Wisconsin Herd in 2019/20, Patton averaged 12.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.9 APG, and an impressive 3.2 BPG in 27.0 minutes per contest.

The move makes the Pistons the first team in the NBA’s bottom eight to sign a player during the league’s transaction window this week. Detroit had a full roster at the time the season was suspended in March, but Donta Hall‘s 10-day contract has since expired, opening up a spot on the 15-man squad — Patton slides into that slot.

The signing of Patton also represents the first Pistons transaction since the team officially hired Troy Weaver as its new general manager last week. It seems safe to assume that Weaver played a key role in the transaction, considering he worked for the Thunder before arriving in Detroit.

Mavs Acquire Willie Cauley-Stein From Warriors

JANUARY 25: The trade for Cauley-Stein is official, according to the Mavericks’ PR account (Twitter link). As expected, the team has waived Patton to open up the roster spot necessary to complete the deal.

JANUARY 24: The Mavericks are finalizing a deal to acquire center Willie Cauley-Stein from the Warriors, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Golden State will receive a 2020 second-rounder from the Jazz, which Utah owed to Dallas, in return for the big man, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Warriors don’t own their own second-rounders from 2020-26 except for the 2022 draft, so this gives them another asset, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.

The Mavericks will open up a roster spot once they complete a trade agreed upon with the Thunder in which they’ll receive center Justin Patton for forward Isaiah Roby and then waive Patton.

Dallas is using its $11.7MM trade exception to acquire Cauley-Stein acquired in the Harrison Barnes deal with the Kings last season. It’s needed since Cauley-Stein was signed with part of the non-tax mid-level exception, according to Marks (Twitter link). Golden State will get a $2.17MM trade exception out of the deal.

Dallas was seeking a rotation player to replace Dwight Powell, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Cauley-Stein, who is making $2.18MM this season and holds a $2.29MM option on his contract for next season, fits that role at a modest cost. He’s averaging 7.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 1.2 BPG in 23.0 MPG for the Warriors.

The Warriors have plenty of monetary reasons to make this deal. The deal will save them $5.66MM on their luxury-tax bill, dropping it to $9.3MM, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Golden State, which will have two roster openings once the deal is completed, will also drop $2.57MM below the hard cap. The team will have two weeks to get back up to the league-mandated minimum of 14 players.

Thunder Trade Patton, Cash To Mavs For Roby

7:08pm: The trade is official, according to a Thunder press release. The Mavericks have also issued a press release confirmed the trade.

4:03pm: The Thunder and Mavericks have agreed to a trade that will send rookie forward Isaiah Roby to Oklahoma City in exchange for center Justin Patton and cash considerations, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Though the Mavericks could use some depth in the middle in the wake of Dwight Powell‘s season-ending Achilles injury, Patton will not stick around. The Mavs made the move to clear a roster spot and intend to waive him, The Athletic’s Tim Cato tweets.

It also creates some cap flexibility going forward, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News notes (Twitter link). Patton has a $1.62MM contract this season but the remaining two years on his deal are not guaranteed.

Roby, a second-round pick out of Nebraska, is making $1.5MM this season as well as next season and all that money is guaranteed. The last two seasons of his four-year contract — at $1.8MM and $1.9MM — are not guaranteed, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

With the deal, Oklahoma City’s projected tax bill drops from $2.3MM to $2MM and the Thunder are now just $801K over the threshold, according to Marks. The team is in position to potentially sneak under the tax line at the trade deadline by moving a minimum-salary player.

Patton has appeared in nine NBA games since being drafted in the first round in 2017, including five with OKC. He has spent most of his time this season in the G League. Roby, who was acquired in a draft-night trade, has yet to make his NBA debut.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/21/20

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

  • The Suns have assigned Jalen Lecque to the Northern Arizona Suns, per the team’s Twitter feed. Lecque recently made his NBA debut, playing two minutes for Phoenix last week.
  • The Wizards have assigned Admiral Schofield to the G League, per the team’s Twitter feed. Schofield was available for the Capital City Go-Go’s contest earlier tonight.
  • The Thunder have recalled center Justin Patton from the G League, the team announced today in a press release.

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

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

  • The Celtics recalled rookie guard Carsen Edwards prior to their game against the Lakers, the team’s PR department tweets. Edwards has come off the bench in 27 games with Boston this season, averaging 3.2 PPG in 9.9 MPG.
  • The Knicks recalled rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis from their Westchester affiliate, the team’s PR department tweets. Brazdeikis has appeared in nine games with the NBA club, averaging 1.9 PPG in 5.9 MPG.
  • The Pacers assigned guard Victor Oladipo to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for a practice, the team tweets. Oladipo is expected to make his long-awaited season debut next week.
  • The Wizards recalled rookie guard Admiral Schofield, the team tweets. Schofield has appeared in 24 games with the Wizards this season but did not play in the team’s win over Detroit on Monday.
  • The Clippers recalled guard Terance Mann from their Agua Caliente affiliate, the team announced today. Mann has played 27 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 1.9 PPG in 8.1 MPG.
  • The Thunder assigned center Justin Patton to the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. Patton is averaging 12.1 PPG and 8.2 RPG in 23 games with the Blue. He has appeared in five games for the Thunder this season, averaging 1.8 PPG in 4.8 MPG.

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

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