As we have all heard, read, and screamed at our monitors in response to, we traded away 2012 5th pick Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, and Tyler Honeycutt for a package centering around Cash Considerations of the Houston Rockets. In order to make salaries work out, the team took in a couple of role players from Houston, the most intriguing of which is Patrick Patterson.
If you remember, Patterson and his fellow Kentucky Wildcat, DeMarcus Cousins laid waste to the NCAA's competition and needless one and done policy as five Wildcats were picked in the first round the following draft. This connection between these two young men is interesting, and has lasted.
Last new year, Cousins was told to take a game off against the New Orleans Hornets, a sum of people assumed he would soon demand a trade, and Patterson was reached for a comment on the situation. According to Houston writer, Johnathan Feigan, the two of them 'talk every day', and the way Patterson described it, the blame should not fall on Cousins, but his environment.
“It’s just problems in Sac-town,” Patterson said. “That’s all it is.”
Well welcome to the circus Pat, and you thought things were crazy then.
Patterson goes on to say that he would love to have Cousins join him in Houston, of course he probably hoped it wouldn't be the other way around. Irony is fun.
Going back further, following the altercation with Donte Greene, Patterson was once again in contact with Cousins. Patterson said he spoke to Cousins to offer him support after he was fined and held out of a game after the incident. In an interview with Feigan, he states "He just has to deal with what he did, it's a stressful time when you have off the court issues with a player on your team."
Kentucky fans love Patterson, say he is a class act, even befriended a girl with cystic fibrosis. Many saw him as Cousins' mentor throughout college, and appears to have taken on that role beyond the draft as he's been with Cousins throughout his missteps and mistakes.
But what about on the court? What does Patterson really have to offer that we couldn't get otherwise?
Well, the kid can shoot pretty dang well. Patterson is shooting at a 36.5% clip from the three, out of nowhere versus a fat zero during his rookie and sophomore campaigns where he shot five three pointers combined. Now, he's pushing 100 so far this season. A 6'9 power forward who can spread the floor is pretty cool, it works well with Cousins' game, as well as the anemic shooting this club suffers from when the starters are not on the floor (or on the floor).
He doesn't rebound too well, as previously stated in other posts his rebounding percentage is in the small forward realm, which kind of is a major drag for the Kings. One of the best parts of Robinson's game was his scrappy attitude towards getting rebounds, and for a team that needs more defensive rebounding on a nightly basis, Patterson doesn't really fit the bill.
So, he can score, and he is a good guy to keep around Cousins.
About that second part. Patterson is a good guy to keep around Cousins. The team already has a starting power forward with Jason Thompson, so the relatively polished Patterson is not going to be getting vastly more minutes than he was used to in Houston (Under 2:30 at the Hornets game today? Nice.) so its not as if the Kings found a guy who can step in as an immediate upgrade to the starting lineup, which is something you should get for the 5th pick of a deep draft. So why make the deal? I'm sure if it was purely meant to be a salary dump that depressed Sacramento fans it could have looked a lot worse. Remember the 2011 draft, anybody? That was an actual deal that Geoff Petrie made, and it added salary on. It wasn't him trying to throw away hope or whatever, it was an actual deal that Petrie thought would improve the team. Wow, that is the most depressing thing I've ever typed. Kittens playing in a sunshine meadow with rainbows. That's a bit better.
The reason we made the deal to acquire Patterson is that this may be this organization's way of choosing Cousins as its max contract player; the guy that would be built around for years on end, not Tyreke. Evans is up for a new contract after this year, and if he asks for too much, I could very easily see this organization raising its hands and letting him walk to the beat of 4 years/$44 million. The Kings get out of the draft with a high pick in a draft featuring some good guards; including Ben McLemore and Marcus Smart. If neither of those options are available, I'm sure you could find Shabazz Muhammad to play the small forward spot that has been so terrible for so long. Then, without Evans the Kings have approximately $12 million to play with under a new ownership group (whether it be Seattle or Sacramento).
While the free agent class is pretty thin this year, depending on the market that Evans sets, the Kings could either retain him for a pretty good bargain, or garner the services of quite a few decent players. Either way, the money that was saved in this deal was the difference between being able to offer $10 million and $12 million in this year's free agency. Which is a goddamn sad return on such a promising player such as Thomas Robinson. I hope for Robinson's continued success in Houston, and wish rooting for those Rockets wasn't looking so damn tempting nowadays.
(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)