Patrick Patterson

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.

Free Agent Rumors: Porter, Randolph, Millsap, Holiday

The Wizards‘ session with Otto Porter ended without an agreement, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. Porter plans to start meeting with other teams this weekend (Twitter link). That creates a potential opening for the Nets, who appear willing to offer the max of four years and $100MM, according to a post on NetsDaily. Philadelphia may also get involved, but the Sixers seem reluctant to make long-term offers. Washington has promised to match any offer for the restricted free agent.

There’s more late-night free agency news:

  • Aldridge has two more tidbits to pass along. The Cavaliers are interested in Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph and plan to call him today (Twitter link). Also, Blake Griffin‘s decision to re-sign with the Clippers means the Suns will intensify their pursuit of  Hawks forward Paul Millsap (Twitter link).
  • Jrue Holiday met with the Pelicans tonight, but no deal was reached, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The two sides are expected to get together again in the morning.
  • The new $201MM supermax contract that the Warriors gave to Stephen Curry doesn’t include a no-trade clause or a player option, according to Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link).
  • Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons has gotten calls from the Kings, Clippers and Timberwolves and is ready to start holding meetings, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • In addition to Simmons, the Clippers plan to meet with Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari on Sunday and Jazz forward Joe Ingles this weekend, relays Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
  • There’s a strong chance that Celtics‘ power forward Amir Johnson will sign with the Sixers, a source tells Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Johnson has a history with Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, who traded for him in 2009 as GM of the Raptors.
  • The Kings met tonight with Andre Iguodala and Patrick Patterson, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • The Timberwolves have put in a call to Ty Lawson as a possible backup for Jeff Teague, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. The Pelicans, Thunder and Kings have also been in contact with Lawson.
  • The Grizzlies are the latest team to show interest in Kings guard Ben McLemore, relays Chris Mannix of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • The Knicks contacted Suns power forward Alan Williams tonight, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Williams fits New York’s goal of finding players who can contribute on both ends of the floor, Begley notes.

Ujiri: Not Realistic For Raptors To Re-Sign All FAs

Speaking to local reporters today at his end-of-season press conference, Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri admitted that it’s not “realistic” for the team to retain all four of its key free agents this offseason (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of TSN 1050). In addition to Kyle Lowry, who confirmed on Monday that he’ll opt out of his contract, veteran Raptors forwards Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson are all eligible for free agency this offseason.

That admission from Ujiri isn’t surprising. Lowry appears to be in line for a max deal or something close to it, and Ibaka will get a big payday as well. Tucker and Patterson figure to land more reasonable deals, but they’ve positioned themselves for raises of their own. Add it all together, and the Raptors would be going way into tax territory to retain a roster of players who were bounced in the second round of this year’s playoffs.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders examined the Raptors’ free agency situation earlier today, suggesting that Tucker and Patterson may be the odd men out, despite the fact that Toronto would – in theory – like to re-sign them both. According to Kyler, the framework for a multiyear deal for Ibaka that starts around $20MM is “basically done,” though nothing is finalized yet and rival suitors could still attempt to pry away the big man.

Meanwhile, even though Ujiri didn’t sound optimistic about bringing back all the Raptors’ free agents, he had plenty of praise for Lowry, calling the veteran point guard “a huge part of our success here” and asserting that “we want him back” (Twitter link via Eric Koreen of The Athletic).

Ujiri also weighed in on several other subjects during his presser, so let’s dive in and round up some highlights…

  • The Raptors’ performance against the Cavaliers was eye-opening, according to Ujiri, who suggested that the franchise may need a bit of a “culture reset” (Twitter link via Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic). Ujiri also acknowledged that the question of how to evolve from a “good” team to an “elite” team will be at the forefront for him this summer (Twitter link via Koreen).
  • One of Ujiri’s primary talking points today revolved around his desire to evaluate and re-think the Raptors’ style of play. The Raps president said he has told head coach Dwane Casey the team may need to change its approach on the court, rather than continuing to change its players (Twitter links via Lewenberg). Ujiri also hammered home the need to keep thinking progressively rather than getting stagnant. “We’ve tried what we’ve done so many times and it hasn’t worked. That’s the simple answer.” Ujiri said. “It’s easy to defend one-on-one” (Twitter links via Murphy).
  • While Ujiri’s comments on the Raptors’ style of play weren’t necessarily a direct indictment of the club’s head coach, Lewenberg left the presser feeling that Casey’s job may be in jeopardy (Twitter link).
  • Ujiri said today that team ownership is fully on board with whatever direction he and the front office choose to go, whether that means going into the tax, rebuilding, or something in between (Twitter link via Lewenberg).
  • Although he didn’t want to use it as an excuse, Ujiri acknowledged that the Raptors – having acquired Ibaka and Tucker at the deadline – didn’t spend a lot of time together in their current form, which makes it tricky to evaluate how all the players fit together (Twitter link via Murphy).
  • Asked whether the Raptors need more from their small forward spot, Ujiri said they do, but expressed optimism that DeMarre Carroll, who has never really been fully healthy since arriving in Toronto, will have a big summer (Twitter link via Murphy).

Raptors Rumors: Ujiri, DeRozan, Tucker, Ibaka

The easiest way for Raptors GM Masai Ujiri to make a significant change is to fire coach Dwane Casey, Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated opines. Ujiri is in a position to rebuild the roster in the wake of the Cavaliers’ playoff sweep but his track record suggests he won’t take that approach, Golliver continues. In a best-case scenario, Ujiri will trade underperforming forward DeMarre Carroll and guard Cory Joseph while retaining his best perimeter defender, unrestricted free agent P.J. Tucker, Golliver adds.

In other developments regarding the Raptors:

  • With point guard Kyle Lowry and forwards Serge Ibaka and Patrick Patterson also heading into unrestricted free agency this summer, the club faces an uncertain future, as Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun details.
  • Backcourt partner DeMar DeRozan throws his full support behind Lowry and his decision to opt out, Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet tweets. “I don’t want to hinder him or make anything more hectic than it’s going to be,” DeRozan told Grange.
  • DeRozan wants the team to acquire more shooters to complement his talents, Wolstat tweets.
  • Tucker will wait to see if Lowry remains with the club before he decides whether to return, Wolstat reports in another tweet. Tucker wants to play for a contender, Wolstat adds. Ibaka’s decision will be influenced by his daughter, he told Wolstat (Twitter link).
  • Casey says it “would be difficult” for the team to advance deeper in future playoffs without re-signing Lowry, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets.
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