Oklahoma City Thunder: Patrick Patterson has quietly found his range

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Patrick Patterson (54) shoots as San Antonio Spurs forward Davis Bertans (42) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.

Though the Thunder might have operated as though they were done with Patrick Patterson following the All-Star break, Patterson is not done with the Thunder.

Saturday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported, via Twitter, that Thunder forward Patrick Patterson has implemented his $5.7 million player option for next season.

Patterson played in every game up to the All-Star break, yet in only five of 25 games following the All-Star break, a span that coincided with the acquisition of Markieff Morris.

Despite being healthy, he did not play a minute in the Thunder's playoff series loss to Portland.

Patterson averaged four points and 2.5 rebounds over those first 57 games. He shot 37.8 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

In his postseason exit interview, Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti appeared to lament the outright benching of Patterson, even though he was the one who brought Morris into the organization.

“If he’s back, which I expect him to be," Presti said of Patterson, "maybe we need to ride that out a little bit longer and rely on him to shoot his career averages, which he has done even the year before.”

Those career averages are 6.9 points on 45 percent shooting and 36.7 percent 3-point shooting.

Now, it appears, barring trading him waiving him — and it doesn’t sound like Presti wants to do either — Patterson will indeed be back.