Assessing Wolves rookie Justin Patton’s time in Iowa
Welcome to the 2017-18 edition of the Timberpups Tracker. This year, we’re taking a different tact. With Minnesota having taken over a G League franchise in Iowa, and renaming it the Wolves, each Thursday we’ll either track the progress of the players who might be of help to the Timberwolves in the future or a current member of the Minnesota roster. We’ll also give updates on the other young players from the previous week.
This is the 12th edition of the 2017-18 Timberpups Tracker.
(Note: The tracker will return in two weeks, taking next week off due to the All-Star break)
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Center Justin Patton
Timberwolves fans might need to wait a bit longer to get a good look at 2017 first-round pick Justin Patton.
With the NBA’s All-Star break up next and the G League on a 10-day hiatus, Minnesota recalled the rookie Monday alongside Anthony Brown and Amile Jefferson. But while all three were at Target Center for shootaround ahead of a game against the Houston Rockets, Patton isn’t likely to see the floor with the Wolves.
However, the tape on Patton after three months in the G League indicates that he shouldn’t have to wait much longer.
Patton has played 25 games with the Iowa Wolves since recovering from July foot surgery, averaging 12 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while playing with a minutes restriction. He scored a career-high 21 points in a loss to Austin on Feb. 11, adding five defensive boards, an assist and a steal.
That last game is more in line with his averages per 36 minutes: 21.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.5 steals on 5.17 percent shooting.
All of that tracks with what we knew about the 7-footer post-draft. He burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman at Creighton — his hometown school and the only Division I program to offer him a scholarship — earning looks with his offensive efficiency, athleticism and his play in transition.
Patton’s numbers in his one season with the Bluejays should look awfully familiar: 12.9 points, 6.2 boards, 1.2 assists, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 steals.
— Karl-Anthony Towns posted his league-leading 50th double-double of the season in the Wolves’ loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday. It was also his third straight game with three or more blocks.
— Towns’ true shooting percentage this season is among the highest ever for a 7-footer.
— Anthony Brown leads the Iowa Wolves in scoring at 20.5 points per game. He led the way again with 24 points in a loss to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers last week.
— Prior to a disastrous seven-point outing against the Rockets, Andrew Wiggins was shooting 55.6 percent from the field over a four-game span.