It’s not often that the sixth-highest-rated player on a team’s draft board slips down to the fourteenth pick. But, against all odds, team favorite Patrick Patterson fell into the Rockets’ lap. Perhaps the club has the Golden State Warriors to thank for that. With perhaps the most surprising selection of the lottery, the Warriors took Baylor forward Ekpe Udoh, considered by many to be a lottery candidate, but by no means a top-six selection.
After Udoh went off the board, the dominoes began to fall. Suddenly, Greg Monroe was Detroit’s for the taking. And Al-Farouq Aminu slipped to the Clippers at number eight. The Utah Jazz found themselves a Gordon Hayward, leaving Indiana the chance to take their second Danny Granger in five years (er, Paul George). Once New Orleans decided that Cole Aldrich was the best big man available, it came down to the Toronto Raptors. Ed Davis or Patterson? Luckily, the took upside over production.
Patterson is a perfect fit for the Rockets’ ideology and system. He’s a hard-nosed, polished power forward with the maturity level of an NBA veteran. He’s a great fit for the flexible offense that Rick Adelman likes to run, as he can play the perimeter and even shoot a few threes. Patterson was perhaps the safest pick in the entire draft – you know exactly what you’re going to get from him: a solid all-around player with his head screwed on straight. The only things he needs to work on are basketball-related, which makes life much easier for the Rockets coaching staff.
Unfortunately, while Patterson may be a great fit for the Rockets, he doesn’t exactly fit on the roster. Currently, the Rockets have indicated that they would like to re-sign Luis Scola, and Jordan Hill was acquired at the trade deadline last February. The question becomes: who stays, and who goes? There won’t be enough room on the roster for all three of them unless Chuck Hayes’ team option is declined. Rarely will you see a team cut its captain, leading me to believe that some kind of deal will be made in the future. Whether it will involve Patterson remains to be seen, but until something drastic happens, enjoy your newest Rocket. He sure was a lucky find.