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.