Thunder Introduce Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
Thunder free agent acquisitions Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes late this morning at OKC's Aloft Hotel and both men seem to fit in well.
They want to win and they believe a Thunder squad led by the NBA's Most Valuable Player and sprinkled with some young talent provides them a great opportunity.
Patterson signed for less money to join the Thunder than could have been available from other teams. Asked why he chose to come to the Thunder instead of those other teams his answer was simple and to the point.
"The opportunity to win," he said. "The opportunity to compete for a championship and be with a team that's just as hungry as I am."
Patterson, who's played in Houston and Toronto, wanted to play alongside "all-stars and superstars" which he had for the most part with the Rockets and Raptors (James Harden and DeMar DeRozen) will again with the Thunder.
Patterson signed a 3-year deal for the mid-level exception, about $5.2 million per season, which is actually even less than he made last season. But again for him it's not all about the money or the superstars, some of it has to do with the coach. Billy Donovan recruited him to play at Florida but Patterson decided on Kentucky instead but it was close since Billy D spent a lot of time in Patterson's Huntington, West Virginia, hometown.
"Him coming to my house hanging out with me and my family. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was good times. It was a lot of fun. Something I cherish. It's very good, and cool to be reunited again," Patterson said.
Felton, who's been in the league for 12 seasons agreed to play here for the veteran's minimum, $2.3 million for his length of service. It's about winning for him too.
"Being a 12-year guy, you just want to put yourself in a situation where you're going to win," he said. "Put yourself in a situation where you've got a chance to try to play for something special, and that's to win a ring."
The Thunder probably won't win a ring this coming season but the addition of Felton, who should stabilize the second unit, and Patterson who brings solid defense and can stretch the floor, the Thunder should be able to get closer.
And then of course there's Paul George.
He will speak to the media Wednesday evening but both Patterson and Felton already know his game pretty well.
"He can create his own shot, make guys better," Felton said of the 4-time All-Star. "He plays on both ends of the court and honestly, that's what wins championships. You've got to be able to get stops. You've got to be able to play defense, and he's a guy who plays on both ends of the court. He's a guy that if you need to get a bucket, he can go get it for you."
"From what I've seen, he's one of the hardest workers in the league," Patterson added. "And one thing that I admire the most about him is his vocal leadership. Whether they're down, whether they're up, no matter what the circumstances are, he's always talking, he's always active and always energetic, and I've always admired that about him."
It should be an interesting training camp to see this team grow together during training camp. After that who knows what could happen.