Patrick Patterson

Thunder Interested In Avery Bradley

In the wake of losing All-NBA defender Andre Roberson to a ruptured left patellar tendon for the remainder of the 2017/18 season, the Thunder are interested in trading for newly-acquired Clippers guard Avery Bradley, reports Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post.

Bradley, who is in the final year of his contract, likely doesn’t fit into the Clippers’ long-term plans, and Oklahoma City appears interested in taking advantage of a potential deal as a result.

Long considered an elite man-to-man defender in this league, Bradley would be able to step in for Roberson admirably, while at the same time giving the Thunder an upgrade on the offensive side of the ball, where Bradley is a career 36.8 percent shooter from long range (Roberson’s career three-point percentage is 25.7%).

Despite the Thunder’s interest, however, it’s difficult to envision a plausible scenario in which a potential trade would occur. The Clippers are building for the future and the Thunder don’t have a first-round pick to trade until 2022 at the earliest.

Also, Bradley is making $8.8MM this season and the Thunder’s best pieces for salary-matching purposes include some combination of Alex AbrinesPatrick Patterson, and Kyle Singler, none of whom are on an expiring deal or overly productive.

The Thunder would likely have to throw promising rookie Terrance Ferguson into any plausible deal in order to realistically pique the Clippers’ interest, and the Thunder are thus far unwilling to do so, per Bontemps.

Northwest Notes: Aminu, Thunder, Timberwolves

Before he signed with the Trail Blazers as a free agent in 2015, veteran forward Al-Farouq Aminu had converted just 28.6% of his career three-point attempts. However, he knew he’d be counted on to improve his outside shot after signing a lucrative four-year deal with Portland, and he has delivered so far. Aminu has made 36.1% of his threes during his time with the Blazers, including a career-best 42.1% this season.

“I’ve always been a slasher, so knowing the instincts and what you’re supposed to be doing as a shooter and how they need you for a team, it’s different,” Aminu said, per Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com. “But you learn, for sure, because you want to stick around.”

Aminu remains under contract in Portland for one more season beyond this year, but if he continues to knock down outside shots at an improve rate, he should be a very appealing three-and-D target in free agency in 2019.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Thunder forward Patrick Patterson was fined $10K this week for publicly criticizing the NBA’s officiating, per an Associated Press report. After a blown call cost OKC a game on Friday, Patterson published a tweet on Saturday suggesting that there “needs to be some kind of consequence for [referees’] downright awfulness rather than pointless apologies from their bosses.”
  • Second-year guard Alex Abrines continues to make more than 38% of his three-point attempts, but his inconsistency on the defensive end has cost him minutes with the Thunder, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. Given his $5.725MM salary, Abrines could become a nice mid-sized trade chip for the Thunder at the deadline if he’s not a regular part of the club’s rotation.
  • The positive energy surrounding the Timberwolves as of late has been noticeable, as the new-look roster is hitting its stride. “I feel like everyone’s comfortable,” Andrew Wiggins said, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “Everyone’s together. Everyone’s playing together. Everyone likes each other. We’re in a good flow right now.”

Thunder Notes: Patterson, Anthony, Westbrook

The Thunder may be better off sending Carmelo Anthony to the bench unit, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman contends. Horne notes that the offense often becomes stagnant with the team’s stars holding onto the ball too long and inserting Patrick Patterson in the starting lineup could be the solution to the team’s problems.

Patterson, who joined OKC during the offseason on a three-year, $16.4MM deal, prides himself on making quick decisions with the rock.

“Being able to decide as soon as I catch the ball if I want to drive or pass is something I’ve been carrying along for years,” Patterson said.

The power forward is averaging 1.29 seconds per touch this season, which is the second-lowest mark on the team, according to Horne.

In theory, adding Patterson in the starting five makes sense, though there isn’t much data on the potential new starting lineup. The Russell WestbrookAndre RobersonPaul GeorgeSteven Adams-Patterson lineup has only played eight minutes this season and while it yielded a slight positive in net rating, it’s unclear how successful the lineup could be over the long-term. Factor in the potential negative chemistry consequences from changing a future Hall of Famer’s role and the potential retooling of the rotation appears even riskier.

Coach Billy Donovan wouldn’t rule out making that kind of move, but said that Patterson is “in a pretty good routine and role right now.”

Here’s more from Oklahoma City:

  • Donovan believes the Thunder’s chemistry is just fine but he acknowledges that the offense will require more ball movement if they are going to climb up in the standings, as Ken Berger of Bleacher Report relays. “They’re willing to work and they’re willing to sacrifice and they know that they have to change,” Donovan said of the team’s three stars. “And I think that change sometimes is difficult. It’s difficult, it’s challenging, it’s new. … But I think for the way we need to play to maximize our team, we’re going to have to move the ball, share the ball, and that’s been a little bit different for most of these guys.”
  • GM Sam Presti may have felt pressure to surround Westbrook with stars so that he would be more likely to ink an extension. While it worked, as Westbrook agreed to add five years to his pact, one anonymous league executive believes the team did more than it had to, as Berger passes along in the same piece.“I think they messed with the chemistry too much,” the Western Conference executive said. “They probably would’ve been fine with just George and Westbrook and some role players.”

Northwest Notes: Favors, Patterson, Napier

With his contract set to expire in the offseason, pending unrestricted free agent Derrick Favors has been the subject of trade speculation. That’s not distracting the Jazz forward from performing for Utah this season, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune writes.

Favors says that he would like to remain with the Jazz long-term but is aware of the fact that he could be a trade chip as the franchise retools following Gordon Hayward‘s departure last summer.

With Hayward out of the picture and Rudy Gobert now sidelined into next month, Favors will get an opportunity to showcase himself in the pick-and-roll game with Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio.

I know I’m going to have to work hard, and I know I’m going to be counted on to produce. I’m ready for it. It’s a position I’ve been in before,” the eight-year Jazz veteran said.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • While he hasn’t gotten off to a great start with his new franchise, the Thunder are aware that offseason addition Patrick Patterson will be a valuable shooter for them eventually. Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman writes about the forward’s struggles getting back into routine following offseason knee surgery.
  • There aren’t many touches to go around in Portland’s stacked backcourt but Trail Blazers guard Shabazz Napier has finally gotten an opportunity to prove himself. Mike Richman of The Oregonian writes that the guard’s outside shooting and energy level on defense make him a solid fit alongside C.J. McCollum or Damian Lillard.
  • Count Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns among those who support the idea of NBA players being permitted to use marijuana for medical purposes. The big man spoke with the media, including Nick Friedell of ESPN, about the hot topic.

Thunder Notes: George, Westbrook, Injuries

While Russell Westbrook‘s new extension with the Thunder certainly doesn’t guarantee that new teammate Paul George will also choose to stick around beyond this season, the All-Star forward intends to give Oklahoma City an audience next summer, a source tells TNT’s David Aldridge.

According to Aldridge’s source, George has been impressed by the Thunder’s culture and by Sam Presti‘s approach to roster building. As the source puts it, George was impressed that Presti and the front office had the guts to essentially retool the entire roster in order to land him and Carmelo Anthony this offseason.

Whether that ultimately results in George deciding to stay in Oklahoma City and sign a new deal with the Thunder remains to be seen, but he appears more open to the idea than he would have been a few months ago. Meanwhile, owner Clay Bennett appears more open to being on the hook for a big tax bill to keep his roster together than he was a few years ago.

Here’s more on the Thunder:

  • Speaking on Sunday to reporters, including ESPN’s Royce Young, Westbrook declined to get into specifics on why he waited nearly three months to sign his extension, but said his commitment to Oklahoma City never wavered. “I like where I’m at,” Westbrook said.
  • Westbrook, Patrick Patterson, and Alex Abrines will all miss the Thunder’s preseason opener on Tuesday, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. “For Russell, it’s just a slow progression,” head coach Billy Donovan said of the reigning MVP, who underwent PRP therapy on his left knee. “There’s no reason just to throw him back in so quickly, but he’s doing more and more, and he did everything today at practice.”
  • Addressing the status of Patterson and Abrines, Donovan said that it’s difficult to put a time frame on either player’s return, but he doesn’t view their injuries as long-term issues. Like Westbrook, Patterson and Abrines are dealing with knee issues.
  • Earlier today, we passed along details on Rob Hennigan‘s new role with the Thunder.

Northwest Notes: Durant, Wolves, Thunder

More than a year after leaving Oklahoma City for Golden State, Kevin Durant can’t seem to escape the drama that came with that decision. As Weston Shepherd of Daily Thunder outlines, a pair of tweets sent from Durant’s Twitter account earlier this week suggested that the star forward “didn’t like the [Thunder] organization or playing for Billy Donovan” and that OKC’s roster wasn’t talented enough to win a championship.

While those tweets were sent from Durant’s account, they referred to him in the third person, so it’s possible that someone with access to his Twitter published them without realizing which handle he was using. The tweets were quickly deleted, but there has been no explanation from KD, which may be a sign that his(?) comments on the Thunder weren’t far off the mark.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News passes along a couple updates from Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, tweeting that Taylor has spoken personally to Dante Cunningham and is waiting on the forward’s free agent decision. Wolfson adds that Nemanja Bjelica believes he’s ready to go after suffering a broken foot last season, but the club will take things slow with him in camp.
  • The Thunder don’t yet have recovery timelines for Alex Abrines and Patrick Patterson, who are dealing with knee injuries, but both players are making progress, as Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman details.
  • While Shabazz Napier is one of 21 fourth-year players eligible for a rookie scale extension, he’s not a great candidate for a new deal. As Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes, Napier is “little more than an insurance policy” for the Trail Blazers this season, and will have a hard time earning extended minutes.

Northwest Notes: Hood, Thunder, Patterson, Blazers

Rodney Hood‘s offseason began with a “frank” exit meeting the day after the Jazz were eliminated from the playoffs, as general manager Dennis Lindsey challenged the fourth-year shooting guard to become more efficient and more consistent — and to prepare for a larger role. As Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune details, Hood has responded to that directive by staying in Utah for the summer and working harder than ever to get ready for the 2017/18 season.

“There were a lot of challenges we gave Rodney,” the Jazz GM said. “What he needs to be doing, his commitment level to his development. And he’s responded this summer. He’s going to be given a prominent role, and his development will be significant to us.”

With Gordon Hayward having left the Jazz for Boston, Hood will be required to take on a greater share of the scoring load in Utah, and as Lindsey suggests, the team’s success figures to hinge in part on how Hood responds to that increased responsibility.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Russell Westbrook won’t have to shoulder so much of the burden for the Thunder this season with Paul George in the mix, according to Shaun Powell of NBA.com, who believes that Westbrook will look to accommodate his new All-Star teammate as much as possible. Speaking of George, Brett Dawson went into detail on the veteran forward’s intense offseason conditioning regimen in an interesting piece for The Oklahoman.
  • Speaking to Nick Gallo of NBA.com, Patrick Patterson talked about why he chose the Thunder in free agency this offseason and how he envisions his role with the franchise. As Patterson notes, heading to Oklahoma City will give him the opportunity to re-connect with Billy Donovan, who attempted to recruit him out of high school.
  • With training camp fast approaching, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian is taking a player-by-player look at the Trail Blazers‘ roster. So far this week, he has examined Jusuf Nurkic, who is extension-eligible this offseason, and discussed Evan Turner, who will look to bounce back from a poor 2016/17 as he enters the second season of a lucrative four-year contract.

Patrick Patterson Undergoes Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Thunder power forward Patrick Patterson may not be 100% for the start of his new team’s training camp, having recently undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the club announced today in a press release. According to the Thunder’s announcement, Patterson will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks.

Assuming Patterson is deemed healthy enough to get back on the court when he’s re-evaluated, he should be able to join the Thunder for training camp, which begins on September 26. However, as Erik Horne of The Oklahoman details, the 28-year-old will likely receive a reduced workload as he continues to get back to full strength.

Patterson, who was nagged by knee issues last season as well, averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.5 RPG with a .372 3PT% in a part-time role for the Raptors. He also shot just 40.1% from the floor for the season, which represented a career low.

While his numbers were hardly spectacular, Patterson’s ability to space the floor and to contribute in other areas of the game – such as screen-setting – made him a valuable piece of Toronto’s rotation over the last few seasons, and earned him a three-year deal with the Thunder. The veteran big man is expected to open the 2017/18 campaign as Oklahoma City’s starting power forward, assuming he’s healthy.

Patrick Patterson Signs With Thunder

JULY 10th, 10:52pm: Patterson has officially signed with the team, according to a Thunder press release.

JULY 4th, 9:07pm: The Thunder have reached an agreement with free agent big man Patrick Patterson, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides will do a three-year, $16.4MM deal. The third year on the contract will be a player option, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).Patrick Patterson vertical

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Free Agent Tracker]

Patterson, 28, had been with the Raptors since arriving in Toronto during the 2013/14 season as part of the team’s Rudy Gay trade with Sacramento. He was a reliable part of the Raptors’ rotation over the last three and a half years, providing rebounding, guarding opposing bigs, and making shots from outside (.372 3PT% in 2016/17).

Based on the reported terms of Patterson’s new deal with the Thunder, he’ll be receiving the club’s full taxpayer mid-level exception, which is worth $16,354,800 over three years. Oklahoma City technically isn’t into tax territory yet, but the club is getting close to that threshold, and hasn’t yet re-signed restricted free agent Andre Roberson. Using the taxpayer MLE allows the Thunder to avoid being hard-capped for 2017/18, giving the club the flexibility to retain Roberson.

Oklahoma City is parting with Domantas Sabonis in its deal for Paul George, and lost Taj Gibson to the Timberwolves this week, so Patterson will help replenish the depth in the club’s frontcourt. Within his report on the agreement, Wojnarowski suggests that the Thunder envision Patterson as a starter, meaning the veteran figures to play alongside center Steven Adams, with Enes Kanter continuing to come off the bench.

Prior to their agreement with Patterson, the Thunder had been exploring a deal with Rudy Gay. ESPN’s Royce Young tweeted today that OKC appeared to be Gay’s preferred landing spot, but there was a “sizable gap” between his asking price and what the Thunder could offer. With Patterson now in the mix using the MLE, the Thunder may be out of the running on Gay, since acquiring anyone via a sign-and-trade would create a hard cap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Northwest Notes: George, Patterson, Gobert

Make no mistake, Oklahoma City’s one mission this season is to convince Paul George to remain with the Thunder once he hits free agency next summer. But what, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman asks, does the All-Star forward want?

George and his representation have been nothing if not forthright about the 27-year-old’s desire to sign with the Lakers in the summer of 2018 but he still has a season under contract and a fresh, new change of scenery to enjoy with the Thunder until that time comes.

If George truly wants to play for a winner, the Thunder have a legitimate chance of positioning themselves as the better option than the Lakers, Horne writes. Oklahoma City has, after all, been competitive for the past five years while the Lakers have toiled in mediocrity.

The question is whether playing for a winner will ever actually trump George’s desire to return to his home state.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The move to sign Patrick Patterson will help the Thunder on the defensive end, the forward’s former coach Kevin McHale told The Oklahoman. He says Patterson is the type of player that excels at all the little parts of the game.
  • With Gordon Hayward on his way to the Celtics, it’s become clear that Rudy Gobert may have been the leader of the Jazz all along, Brad Rock of The Deseret News writes. The big man has long been more charismatic and vocal than his Beantown-bound counterpart.
  • The move that sent Avery Bradley from the Celtics to the Pistons has all but extinguished any hopes the Jazz had of pulling off a sign-and-trade connected to Gordon Hayward’s move to Boston, Jody Genessey of The Deseret News writes.
  • The Timberwolves saw an opportunity and seized it this offseason, bringing Jeff Teague into the fold at the expense of long-time point guard Ricky Rubio. “Ricky did a good job here; we’re happy for him,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau told the media, including Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. “We wish him well. He made a number of contributions to our team, our organization and community and we certainly appreciate that. For us where we are now, we have to get out of this hole and we felt we had an opportunity to improve our team, and that’s why we did what we did.”
  • An additional benefit the Timberwolves will enjoy after bringing Jimmy Butler aboard will be his contributions as a recruiter, Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago writes.
  • No team in the NBA shot worse when wide open beyond the arc than the Thunder did last season, that should change after the club welcomes Paul George and Patrick Patterson to its lineup, Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman writes.
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