The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed free agent forward Patrick Patterson to a three-year deal worth $16.4 million, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting. Oklahoma City used its full tax payer mid-level exception.
The deal includes a player option on the third year.
The Thunder finally got the stretch-power forward they have been searching for. This deal eliminates Oklahoma City from acquiring free agent Rudy Gay.
An alumnus of the University of Kentucky, Patterson has played for three teams over his seven year career. Recently, he played with the Toronto Raptors over the past three seasons.
A career 37 percent shooter from deep, the Thunder have in effect swapped Taj Gibson — who signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves — for Patterson, a player who can stretch the floor and demand defenders away from the paint.
Last season, Patterson appeared in 65 games and started in eight of them. He averaged 6.8 points per game on 40 percent shooting to go along with 37 percent from deep. Rounding out his usual box score, he averaged 4.5 rebounds.
Although there are some power forwards with surprising percentages from deep, Patterson’s resumé is more impressive considering over the last few seasons he has averaged about 3.5 attempts from three a game. Last season, he averaged just under four.
This is the biggest free agent Sam Presti has signed, per ESPN’s Royce Young.
Patterson is Sam Presti's biggest open market free agent signing. Previous was Nenad Krstic at $15.8 million for 3 years.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) July 5, 2017
It is unclear whether Patterson will start or come off the bench. Oklahoma City still has restricted free agent Andre Roberson to deal with, and the recent signing of Gordon Hayward to Boston opens up an interesting can of worms concerning Marcus Smart.
Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript reports his salary will start off at $5.19 million in year one.
Patterson's starting salary will be $5.19M. He'll make $5.45M in year 2. The player option is for $5.71M.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 5, 2017
The Thunder got their floor spacer to play along side stars Russell Westbrook and recently acquired Paul George.
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