3 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 7.5.17

Wednesday Bolts: 7.5.17

The Thunder agreed to terms with free agent Patrick Patterson: “Free agent forward Patrick Patterson has reached agreement on a three-year, $16.4 million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources told ESPN. The deal includes a player option for the third year, league sources said. The Thunder used their full tax payer mid-level exception on the agreement. The commitment eliminates the Thunder from contention on free agent forward Rudy Gay, who visited with the organization over the weekend.”

Brett Dawson introduces Patterson: “From 2007-2010, he was a power forward at Kentucky. And I happened to be the beat writer covering the Wildcats for The Courier-Journal in Louisville. So I spent three years covering Patterson (plus a year tracking his recruitment, when he was one of the most-coveted players in high school hoops). That’s just one fun fact about the Thunder’s new power forward.”

Dawson & Erik Horne discuss what the Patterson deal means for OKC: “The Thunder faced frontcourt depth issues with the departure of Taj Gibson in free agency and Domantas Sabonis via trade. It also was over the salary cap with just a mid-level exception at its disposal. The Thunder addressed both issues on the Fourth of July, agreeing to a three-year, $16.4 million contract with Patrick Patterson.”

Patterson’s signing makes Andre Roberson’s return more likely:

Gordon Hayward is leaving the Northwest Division: “The Boston Celtics finally got their fireworks — on the Fourth of July, no less. Gordon Hayward, the prize of this summer’s free-agent class, announced Tuesday that he’s going to play for the Celtics, choosing their maximum-contract offer over those from the Utah Jazz, his team since 2010, and the Miami Heat.”

Fred Katz on Marcus Smart’s availability & OKC’s potential interest: “The Celtics rescinded a qualifying offer for big man Kelly Olynyk, making him an unrestricted free agent, shortly after the deal was announced. And now, it will try to unload either versatile forward Jae Crowder, point guard Terry Rozier or defensive stopper Marcus Smart. A source says Boston has already started contacting teams about picking up Smart, an Oklahoma State product who could be someone the Thunder appreciate.”

Matt Craig’s recap of yesterday’s summer league loss + a video review of the point guard play: “In the search for a backup point guard this week, today allowed more opportunity to see Dylan Ennis, Marcus Thornton, and Marcus Paige. Unfortunately, they all have their flaws. Thornton can’t take care of the ball, Paige is a defensive negative and a rebounding zero, and Ennis lacks the quickness to beat his man and get into the lane. Of the three, Ennis has looked the best, because of how hard he plays and his length on defense.”

Gordon Hayward’s Farewell to Utah in the Players Tribune: “After seven years in Utah, I have decided to join the Boston Celtics. I know that will be tough to hear for Jazz fans — and I really want you all to know that you mean the world to me and my family. Over the past few days, I’ve been genuinely torn. And I know that this process isn’t easy on the fans, either. So I just want to be as straight-up as possible about why I’m coming to Boston.”

Kevin O’Conner on Hayward & Brad Steven’s unfinished business: “The Brad Stevens connection cannot be underestimated. Hayward lost a lot by leaving the Jazz. But if you want to talk about building a lasting legacy, it’d be a remarkable chapter of his story to win a title with the coach who discovered him, who first planted the seed in his mind that he could become an NBA player.”

ESPN’s running list of every free agency signing: Things are still happening.