Once his $5.7 million salary clears waivers, Patterson’s intention is to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell ESPN https://t.co/0uIDF7EYJx— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2019
Patterson was highly regarded earlier in his career in Toronto as a high-quality rotation player with “glue-guy” tendencies, able to hit threes at an above-average rate from the power forward position while being a high-IQ defender.
However, two seasons ago Patterson left the Raptors for the Oklahoma City Thunder and somewhat fell off the map, underperforming and falling to an end-of-rotation role. Last season, he averaged just 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game. Offensively he had major struggles, shooting 37.4% from the field and 33.6% from deep.
At 30 years old, there seems to be hope for a resurgence from Patterson—he is still in his prime, and it’s unlikely that he simply forgot how to play basketball upon arriving in Oklahoma City. When an established player has a couple uncharacteristically bad seasons upon moving to a new situation, it’s probably worth giving them a second chance. It’s well-known that the Russell Westbrook Thunder didn’t exactly epitomize team system basketball, so perhaps as a low-usage system player Patterson can thrive on the Clippers’ bench.
Positionally, adding a power forward might seem strange for a Clippers roster that appears to have its biggest needs at point guard and center, but I have been a proponent of using the 14th roster spot on a PF. Currently, the Clippers have JaMychal Green and Maurice Harkless at the position, making it their weakest—adding another rotation-caliber player here provides a little competition and gives Doc Rivers another option. More importantly, the Clippers already have some depth at center: behind Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell, Green, rookie Mfiondu Kabengele, and two-way big man Jonathon Motley are all capable of playing emergency minutes. Adding another viable option at power forward unlocks Green’s availability at center, and also unlocks Maurice Harkless’ availability to move over to the small forward position when needed, bolstering the Clippers’ depth at multiple positions.