Timberwolves First-Round Pick Justin Patton Sustained Foot Injury, Out Indefinitely

A lot has happened since draft night, when the Timberwolves traded Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn and the #7 pick for Jimmy Butler and the #16 pick, which Thibs & Layden LLP used to select Justin Patton, who hails from Creighton University.

Today, news dropped that Patton is not healthy. He needed to have surgery to repair his foot.

We aren’t breaking this story – it has been out for a minute – but here are a few takes:

  1. Justin Patton wasn’t going to be an integral part of this season’s Timberwolves. He was looking at bit minutes, as a role player, in a fully developmental mode, and it is unfortunate that this development is unlikely to happen.
  2. The Wolves’ success this year, or lack thereof, does not depend on Justin Patton. It actually might be better to face up to this now than later.
  3. We hope Justin Patton gets well soon, because we do need what he brings. He seems like not only an interesting prospect, but also one who has certain comparative advantages (wingspan, length, and the like – DRINK!) that teams desire. His not playing this summer is a blow to team development, but is unlikely to be a hit on the team’s W-L column.

That’s the quick reaction to Justin Patton’s injury. If he wasn’t already overshadowed enough by the Jimmy Butler acquisition, now he is. No need to fret about it. Enjoy your 4th of July and light up a firecracker for the player we hope Justin P will be upon his return.

 

 

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7 Responsesso far.

  1. Thibs drafting magic at work again

  2. Tom says:

    Except it is a big man’s foot and that can be difficult to ever get healed correctly. Now is this a recent injury or did Wolves not do their homework? If it just happened, then that is bad luck. If it is something that should have been known and we just found out, that is inexcusable. You are right that the team wasn’t expecting Justin to be a monster in year one, but we won’t know if he could have had an impact or not, which is sad because now we need a back up big on top of wing shooters and a third point guard

  3. pyrrol says:

    In light of this, the Patton pick looks silly and careless… Did Thibs know he has an injury? I mean, what was good about the pick is that we took a chance on an upside guy and this pick might not be drastically less useful than the pick we originally had in this type of draft. But a raw, project, ‘upside’ guy who has length you drool over but not a real game yet.. that relies on getting the guy going. For every Hassan Whiteside out there, there’s many guys who’s window to turn into NBA contributors is too small and they never get there. Hassan himself took a long time. Most guys who take that long are cooked years ago, as far as a real chance to be in the NBA long term. Patton is already behind the curve. He’s got to learn a lot, has to overachieve and grow stronger, show that he has an NBA level skill to warrant any playing time. And being injured out of the gate (and the dreaded foot injury for a big man) shrinks his already small window and low chances of really catching on as an NBA rotation guy. In other words, this is pretty unlikely to turn out to be a franchise helping pick on any level, though there is still a chance he could be good. It seems like there were a lot of better picks at that spot we could have taken. Guys like J Collins, Leaf, Anuoby, Pasecniks, and Hart were still on the board.

  4. Tom says:

    Or if you had a plan to target Taj Gibson in Free Agency, maybe you draft Terrance Ferguson or OG Anunoby as wing guys that could be 3 and D backups to Wiggins and JB. Then you could be looking at Kelly Olynyk or DeWayne Dedmon now with MLE. We could do the sign and trade for CJ MIles and you would have a solid team to compete in the West.
    Planning is something that this organization has had trouble with long before Thibs, but given that this guy is supposed to live and breathe NBA basketball, he seems to be very unprepared.
    Luckily, we have probably leapfrogged over Utah, and possibly Portland. If we are equal to Clippers, NOLA and OKC, we could get a top five seed in the west. That means we could play a second round playoff series against either GState or Houston.
    It looks like we did enough to break our playoff drought. We still need to have Wiggins and KAT grow into Superstars, or we would have to look for a LaVine/Bulter move next year.

  5. gjk says:

    I’m going to miss seeing him play in summer league, and I hope this doesn’t become a chronic problem. Having any comment beyond that is just looking for chances to go after people you want to go after, anyway.

    • Frank N says:

      No, it’a fair to ask with going after Taj, having Towns, Belly, Dieng and Aldrich was going after a 6th big really a wise move? there are exactly two wings on the team, 2 PGs and 6 bigs does that sound like a balanced roster to you?

  6. pyrrol says:

    I’m going to miss seeing him this summer, too. That was going to be interesting.

    However, I think it is pretty reasonable to question drafting a project big at 16 who needs foot surgery now. That’s a questionable move. It may be that Thibs had no idea. But it’s fishy. If he didn’t, it is possible he should have, and even if he had no way of knowing, there were much less risky picks he left on the table for this one. You can give the guy maverick points or maybe wonder if this injury news doesn’t just emphasize the risky nature of this pick when there were more bankable, established players on the board. I’d love nothing more than for Patton to be a PF version of Whiteside and prove me totally wrong for doubting Thibs’ move. At the same time, expressing doubt over the wisdom of the move isn’t ‘just looking for a chance to go after people I want to go after.’ Let me be very clear–I’ve been very critical of Thibs frequently, but it’s not a vendetta. I want him and this team to succeed. I’d love nothing more.

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