Patterson was very effective in the post-season, too — one of the few Raptors who was a positive contributor, more or less, in all seven games. He averaged 10.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game against the Nets, shooting 54% from the floor. Patterson also provides some insurance at power forward for Amir Johnson. Johnson, who will be entering his sixth season with the Raptors and 10th in the league next year, has battled chronic ankle injuries over the last few seasons, and is entering the final year of his contract. Patterson and Johnson were excellent playing with each other. And if Patterson keeps his three-point shooting close to his Toronto level, he is an ideal match for the emerging Jonas Valanciunas, at least in theory. “Every guy wants to start in the NBA,” Patterson said of his impending free agency after the season ended. “So having the opportunity to start and having a bigger role and more pressure and more responsibility would be appealing. But like I said, as long as I’m playing, as long as I’m comfortable, as long as I’m happy, as long as I’m involved in the team and have a positive role, I’m happy.”
The team is willing to pay up in order to keep last year’s 48-win squad together and is banking on continued improvement from its young core. Patterson is just 25, Vasquez 27, Lowry still 28, DeMar DeRozan just 24 and Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross just 22 and 23, respectively. Patterson had drawn interest from the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic, but Toronto would have had the right to match any offer, as was the case with Vasquez. Toronto is not without risk in bringing back Patterson and Vasquez. Patterson has been inconsistent throughout his career and is on his third team. If he plays like he did as a Raptor, it’s great value, if performs as he did in Sacramento, or somewhere in between – not as much.
After shooting just 0-for-5 on 3-pointers his first two NBA seasons, Patterson has developed into a solid stretch four, making 37.4 percent of his shots beyond the arc the last two seasons. His salary might be slightly on the high side, but he earned this by really working on his game.
“As far as I’m concerned, keeping our core group going forward, with Kyle Lowry, Greivis Vasquez and Patterson and Nando, those guys are priorities for us,” the Raptors’ GM had said. “And if you want to build, I think a team where we have young players, we have to build continuity. When free agency comes, we have to attack our guys first.” With that goal in mind the next order of business will be retaining Vasquez, also a restricted free agent, expected to be done soon. In an effort to create the cap space required to complete a deal with the back-up point guard and perhaps add another piece while maintaining future flexibility and avoiding luxury tax penalties, the Raptors have also traded veteran sharpshooter Steve Novak to the Utah Jazz, reports Yahoo Sports. Toronto will send a future second-round selection to the Jazz as a sweetener and take back the non-guarantted contract of guard Diante Garrett, who will be immediately waived, in order to unload the $7.2 million Novak is owed over the next two years.
While not much of a rebounder or rim protector, Patterson is a solid, smart two-way player and a luxury to have as a backup behind Amir Johnson. Considering how well he shot the ball, it’s a mild surprise he didn’t get a more lucrative or longer contract. It might have helped that he wanted to come back and build on last year. “It was great here,” Patterson said at his end-of-season media availability in May. “Developed strong relationships with the staff, the organization, my teammates, embraced the city and the fans. Overall I had a great time. Out of all the stops I’ve been to, Houston and Sacramento, this is by far the best.”
Let me first say, I love Amir Johnson – he is the Udonis Haslem of this franchise and I hope next summer we can retain him for a reasonable term and price On to Patrick Paterson 4 years ago around this time of the year the “decision” happened. Chris Bosh left the franchise and Amir Johnson’s extension at $6m a year seemed like a huge overpayment… Patrick Paterson came to us as a throw in, just as Amir Johnson did. A diamond in the rough trade so to speak. PP fits perfectly with this lineup, he’s young, and he plays the stretch 4 perfectly which is ultimately the fit we need beside JV. I think we need to gamble on Patrick Paterson that he will earn his contract, just like Amir Johnson.
With the Raptors’ 18 million dollar investment in Patterson, they now have an incredible young core of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, Patrick Patterson and Terrence Young all signed for at least 2 more seasons and if they continue to develop, they could be a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference if they are able to add one more big piece. They happen to have a lot of cap space next offseason where they can find that piece, but for now, resigning Patterson should help keep them in the middle of the East next season. With Patterson and Vasquez (who they also need to resign), the Rudy Gay deal gave them 2 excellent role players.
The Toronto Raptors, as we saw this past season, are one of the up-and-coming teams in the NBA, and they’d like to keep it that way. To stay successful, you have to make some moves in the offseason, and they’ve certainly done that. Following their recent re-signing of guard Kyle Lowry this past week, they’ve now hit the trade market, sending Steve Novak to the Utah Jazz.
If you do the math (and I did, keep reading) this is a financial win for the Raptors who take back Diante Garrett and his non-guaranteed contract. They are likely to waive him and his hulking $915,243 price tag. If they don’t they will be getting a consummate professional who can be a solid back up at the point guard and shooting guard spots. He’s a good defender and makes his threes. If anything, he’s insurance for Kyle Lowry, Lou Williams , and Greivis Vasquez . Or an assurance that Vasquez is out. Either way it’s a solid trade for the Raptors who were on the verge of being tapped out of flexibility and stuck as middle playoff team. Now they can make moves again or signings to keep improving. For the Jazz this is less about getting better than it is about maintaining their commanding lead in flexibility over the rest of the league. Novak appears to be allosteric competition against the ideas of Marvin Williams (who has a bunch of teams after him right now), Malcolm Thomas, and Erik Murphy on their Summer League team (Diante too, but oh well…) and the theory that they are face up, stretch bigs is still just a theory. Novak is the proof of concept. Novak is cheaper than Marvin will be, but $1.681 million more than keeping both Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy.
De Colo is a bigger question mark. If Ujiri wants to add a veteran wing through free agency – say Vince Carter for example – he will have to rescind De Colo’s qualifying offer to free up a roster spot or eat (waive) one of his guaranteed contracts. De Colo is even standing in the way of simply adding second round draft pick DeAndre Daniels unless Ujiri can pull off a two-for-one trade. This is quite possibly the real reason the Raptors Plan On Sending DeAndre Daniels To The D-League.
As far as free agents are concerned, the Toronto Raptors are almost done. They re-signed Kyle Lowry to a four-year, $48 million deal and brought Patrick Patterson for three years and $18 million. Greivis Vasquez is the only one of note who hasn’t come back, though he and the Raptors are closing in on a deal, per Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. To make the money work more easily, GM Masai Ujiri will send Steve Novak and a second-round pick to Utah, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. That doesn’t mean, though, that the Raptors will be done after that. Ujiri is a dealmaker by trade and figures to keep his line open in the event that another executive wants to chat.
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