The Rockets went with what they thought was the best man at the board, drafting power forward Patrick Patterson at No. 14 last June. A big man who has a midrange game and a nice jump hook, who just had to learn how to play defense a little bitter.
Problem is, there was no way to get that development at the NBA level. Not with Yao Ming, Brad Miller, Luis Scola, Brad Miller, Jared Jeffries, Chuck Hayes and Jordan Hill ahead of him. There just weren’t many minutes for a rookie.
So the Rockets have assigned Patterson to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the D-League team the Rockets own.
“Considering the front court depth we have in Houston, we felt that, at this point in time, it was in the team’s best interest to assign Patrick Patterson to the Vipers. We strongly value development through play and the upcoming stretch presented a timely opportunity for Patrick to join Vipers training camp, with the objective for him to play a primary role in the team’s games, practices and individual development processes,” said Gersson Rosas in the press release, and he is the Vipers GM and Rockets VP of player personnel.
Patterson looked, well, like a rookie during preseason. He got 15 minutes a game through six games, averaging about 4 points on 44.4 percent shooting and 4 rebounds. He needed time and minutes.
He will get them in the D-League, and that is not a bad way to go.