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Thunder Waives Patrick Patterson

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OKC cuts ties with ballyhooed 2017 free agent signing

NBA: Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Thursday that they have waived veteran forward Patrick Patterson. Prior to the official announcement, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that a buyout agreement had been reached and that Patterson would sign with the LA Clippers once he clears waivers.

Patterson had previously opted into the final year of his contract worth $5.7 million. Official terms of the buyout will come out at a later date. It’s possible that Patterson left at least $2.3 million on the table — the veteran minimum salary he’ll be eligible for.

The Thunder can elect to stretch the remainder of the salary owed to Patterson over the next three seasons. That would help get team payroll under the luxury tax line this season, and would leave a small amount of dead money on the books. The final luxury tax determination isn’t made until after the regular season.

The nine-year veteran was signed during the 2017 offseason and was originally thought to be the team’s new starting power forward. Patterson eventually underwent knee surgery and the Thunder made a pre-training camp trade for Carmelo Anthony. Patterson never became the plus contributor he was in Toronto and ended last season washed out of the rotation entirely. OKC brought in Mike Muscala to add frontcourt shooting, pushing Patterson further out of the picture.