Taking a flier on Justin Patton is good business – following his path to the OKC Thunder

OKC Thunder: Justin Patton (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Justin Patton (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder, Justin Patton of the Delaware Blue Coats during the G League (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Get to know the newest OKC Thunder center Justin Patton who is definitely the type of young player Sam Presti should take a chance on.

If you don’t know much about OKC Thunder recent acquisition Justin Patton that’s likely because he hasn’t played much in the NBA. Four games to be exact in limited minutes. Fans of the NCAA will have a better knowledge of the youngster who impressed at Creighton.

His addition to the Thunder might raise red flags since it’s not typical of Sam Presti to have three centers on his roster. Yet, that’s the case as Patton will join starter Steven Adams and recently re-signed free agent back up center Nerlens Noel. The announcement had fans and pundits alike wondering if his addition meant Presti will up his efforts to move Adams who is set to earn $25,842,697 this season and $27,528,090 next season.

As for Nerlens Noel, his re-signing likely had more to do with the team still being in an aggressive pursuit mode of remaining competitive. Recalling how conflicted his free agency negotiations were the big man initially indicated he was returning on June 30th. Then he asked for time to reassess the deal, in essence backing out of the deal. A day later, on July 1st, Noel confirmed he was accepting the two-year minimum deal and returning to the Thunder.

Five days later the Paul George trade happened. It’s hard to say if Sam Presti would have aggressively pursued re-signing Noel given the eventual exit of Paul George, Jerami Grant, and Russell Westbrook. That said he’s on a minimum deal and will likely opt out again this summer if he’s able to produce effectively this season and showcase growth.

So, why three centers on a team who aren’t expected to aggressively vie for a playoff seed? The two words that come to mind are flexibility and potential.

For as much of an enigma as Patton is, there are a few defining items which explain more about about the 22 year old and why Presti likely made the move.