By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
The Thunder may have solved their power forward problem agreeing to terms with 7-year veteran Patrick Patterson.
OKC is still probably a bit thin at the position having traded away Domas Sabonis and lost Taj Gibson in free agency but Patterson is a quality player at a surprising affordable price.
Patterson earned $6 million last season playing for the Toronto Raptors but agreed to a deal with the Thunder that will pay him just under $5.2 million this season and a total of about $16.35 million over three years.
The Thunder had hoping to get Rudy Gay and play him as a Stretch-4 but Gay turned down a player option for this coming season with the Kings that would have paid him a bit more than $14 million so getting him to agree to significantly less had been a big stumbling block.
Patterson may end up being a pretty good compromise between Gay and Gibson. He's of course not nearly the scorer Gay is but he's a better defender. At 6-9, 230, he's able to switch onto small forwards and even some shooting guards.
He's also become a pretty solid 3-point shooter, something Gibson never did.
Patterson is a career 36.8 percent shooter overall from deep and even better (40 percent) on the ever popular corner-3. This past season he was better than his career averages shooting 37.2 percent overall on threes and 41.2 percent on shots from the corner according to statistics from Basketball-Reference.com.
And since Patterson agreed to the taxpayer mid-level exception, instead of the non-taxpayer MLE which would have been worth about $3 million more to him each year but which would have also hard capped the Thunder at $125.6 million, OKC should now be able to re-sign restricted free agent Andre Roberson.
The Thunder aren't across the luxury tax line yet but certainly will be if they re-sign Roberson and then there's still the matter of getting 1st round draft pick Terrance Ferguson signed and the Thunder are also believed to still be in the market for a backup point guard.