Who would win a Raptors-only track-and-field day? How good is Amir Johnson’s Celine Dion impression? When was the last time Dwane Casey cried at the movies? Every day until the season starts, we throw a Raptor in front of a green screen and ask him the tough questions. Today, Patrick Patterson names his private island after himself.
Know Your Raptors: Lou Williams | Kyle Lowry | Bruno Caboclo | Chuck Hayes | Jonas Valanciunas | Amir Johnson | Tyler Hansbrough | Landry Fields | Terrence Ross | James Johnson | Patrick Patterson | Lucas Nogueira | DeMar DeRozan | Greivis Vasquez | Dwane Casey
When Patrick Patterson arrived from Sacramento as part of the Rudy Gay trade, to many Raptors fans he was a face in the crowd alongside Greivis Vasquez, Chuck Hayes and John Salmons. By season’s end, however, he had proven himself to be an underrated big capable of holding his own on D while stretching the floor with the best shooting forwards in the NBA.
GM Masai Ujiri showed as much in the off-season when he made it a point to sign Patterson to a three-year, $18-million dollar extension, a deal that should pay immediate dividends as the Raptors hope to carry over the breakout success of 2013–14.
While Patterson wasn’t a known commodity to many Raptors fans before his arrival, his stellar half-season in Toronto is far from his foray into the basketball spotlight. In his three years of college ball at Kentucky, Patterson bridged the gap between the Billy Gillespie and John Calipari years and put up big numbers in each despite the big-name additions of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe in 2009–10. In four NCAA Tournament games that year—his last in the college ranks—Patterson put up nearly 11 points and nine rebounds per contest.
After splitting the first three seasons and change of his NBA career between Houston and Sacramento, Patterson seems to have found a home in Toronto. Last season he shot 41 percent from three-point land on 5.2 attempts per game, numbers that put him in the rarefied air of New Orleans Pelicans sharpshooter Ryan Anderson. And it might have been his midrange game that brought him not only his finest moment of the season, but the team’s as a whole when he hit the game-winner in Brooklyn with six seconds left on the clock in January.
This coming year, Patterson should be the first big off the bench most nights as his versatility (he played 30 percent of his minutes for the Raptors last year at centre) helps him fit well alongside either Jonas Valanciunas or Amir Johnson. That’s a must for a team—and a fanbase—that wants him on the floor as often as possible.
2013–14 Stats (with Toronto): 9.1 Pts/G, 5.1 Reb/G, 1.3 Ast/G, 0.7 Blk/G, 47.7 FG%, 23.3 Min/G