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The Toronto Raptors will have to make some decisions at year end on Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson. Both can become unrestricted free agents if Toronto does not extend qualifying offers to them in the off season. I think it is safe to assume they will as both have proved to be serviceable players who have bought into the system.
Of the two, Vasquez I would think would be the one less expendable. Look at the big’s on roster next year, then look at the guards. Julyan Stone is next in line if Vasquez is not back next year, or they find a replacement. So that brings me to the question, what is Patterson’s worth on the open market?
Patterson hasn’t really been given his fair shake in the league until he was dealt to Toronto. With minutes he has proven he is a very good bench big. He’s averaging 10 points, 5.1 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field and 43% from 3 point range in 23 minutes a game in Toronto. Good numbers for the minutes he plays.
The issue at hand is, and the questions that will be asked by GM’s in the offseason is has he peaked? At 24 and not really having a lot of minutes handed to him in his career so far, it’d be hard to say he has. That will definitely add to his value on the market if he is viewed as a player with room to grow.
As far as my point of view, he’s a 3rd big on a team. A very good 3rd big mind you but that’s what he is. So where does he stack up against other players that fit his mold in terms of pay? Ersan Ilyasova averages 10 points, 6 rebounds on 37.5% from the field this year, 30% from deep. He has struggled, his career stats show he averages 44% from the field and 37% from 3. As you can see Patterson aka 2Pat has those numbers beat and is 2 years younger. Ilyasova’s pay cheque? $7.9 million this year.
2Pat is more of a big than Ilyasova, but Ilyasova is a good defender (so is 2Pat, but Ilyasova is slightly better). So who else is comparable? Well take a look at Spencer Hawes, a player with a similar skill set. The 3pt shooting big is making $6.5 million a year. He’s averaging almost 13 points and 9 rebounds and shoots 45% from the field and 40% from 3pt. 2Pat could net those numbers as a starter in my opinion. Problem is he fits the mold of a bench big much better than a starter.
Another player to look at is Channing Frye. In 29 minutes a game he is averaging 12.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 45% from the field and 40% from 3 point land. Very similar numbers to 2Pat this year. He’s making $6.4 million this year. Patterson is a better re bounder than Frye and plays less minutes as well.
These 3 players, Ilyasova, Frye and Hawes will most likely set the pay scale for 2Pat. I’d argue he will get paid more than Frye and Ilyasova but less than Hawes’ new deal come the off season. Based on this analysis I would bet that he is worth anywhere from 5 million to 8 million a year to teams on an open market. Can the Raptors afford that? Yes and no, at $5 to $6.5 million a year I am sure they will match an offer (assuming they make him a RFA). But at $8 million? That may be the straw that breaks the camels back. $8 million when you are paying Amir Johnson $6.5 million to be a similar player (minus the deep shooting) off the bench isn’t going to happen, especially when Hayes is guaranteed to be on roster next year at $5.8 million a year. That’s a lot of money spent with no star to show for it.
As is with any player entering free agency the market dictates the price and we wont know until an offer is extended to him. But the evidence I’ve listed can definitely give some insight to what Raptors fans can expect. Here’s to hoping the much loved Patterson is back in a Raptors uniform next year, at a decent price of course.
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Thanks for reading.
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