Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton, Veteran Additions in the Frontcourt and Backcourt

Thunder General Manager and Executive Vice President Sam Presti and his staff moved in silence. The rumors were swirling about veteran power forwards, but there was nothing concrete.

When the news broke of the team’s signing of Patrick Patterson, the largest open market free agency recruitment in Oklahoma City history, there was plenty of noise coming from NBA circles. Patiently waiting for the waters to settle in the free agent market, both the Thunder and Patterson came together at the right time.

“Being urgent is less important than being accurate,” Presti stated. “There’s not a lot of reward for enthusiasm and recklessness.”

Patterson, most recently a member of the Toronto Raptors, has been one of the more reliable stretch forwards in the NBA. He’s a defensively versatile, catch-and-shoot marksman – this modern NBA’s quintessential role player to mesh with a group that boasts two of the top scorers in the league and an emerging young center in Steven Adams.

Patterson has averaged 7.9 points on 45.9 percent shooting for his career, and last season he shot 37.2 percent from three-point range. In fact, 66.1 percent of his field goal attempts last season came from behind the three-point line.

It’s a deal that allows Patterson to fill a vital role for a contending team and for the Thunder to shore up its power forward position with a player who can stretch the floor and defend multiple positions. His ability to space the floor will free up the paint for Westbrook, George and Adams, and his toughness both in the paint and on the perimeter defensively will match nicely with the Thunder’s long, limber collection of athletes.

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Thunder Adds Felton as a Reserve Point Guard

In addition to Patterson, the Thunder also added a veteran in the backcourt. Raymond Felton, with 12 years of NBA experience as a point guard, signed with the Thunder to provide a steady and reliable option off the bench.

The former NCAA National Champion at University of North Carolina has averaged 11.9 points and 5.7 assists per game over the course of his career. Most recently, he averaged 6.7 points and 2.4 assists in 21.3 minutes per game as a reserve point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers. With a career 2.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, Felton has proven to be a stable presence as a backup, leading one of the better bench units in the league last season.

Playing behind Russell Westbrook and with second-year man Semaj Christon in the fold, Felton’s minutes will be determined by how the season unfolds, but it’s clear the Thunder has added an experienced and intelligent floor general to the mix.

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