The value of a stretch 4 in the NBA

There are always contracts that pop up during NBA free agency that shock me. Such has been the case on multiple occasions in the first few days of the 2014 period. The biggest shocker may have been Ben Gordon who agreed to much more money than almost anybody thought he was worth. After all, He hasn’t been a big contributor for a couple of years. But, I guess if you can score, there will always be a place for you in the NBA.

Another contract agreement was announced on Friday that also made me wonder.

There are reports that Patrick Patterson has agreed on a three-year-18 million dollar deal to stay with the Toronto Raptors.

I first have to say that I really like Patterson’s game and have since he was at Kentucky but, he hasn’t quite hit his stride yet in the NBA. He was at his best with the Houston Rockets, but that the trade to the Sacramento Kings hurt his game some (like it does to everyone). Thankfully, he was moved to the Toronto Raptors as a part of another deal after only 41 games in a Kings uniform.

The trade to Toronto was a great move for Patterson (and the Raptors) who played well in 48 games. During that time, Patterson put up 9.1 point on 47.7 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in just over 23 minutes a night.

Those are all very nice numbers, but definitely not something that should get you a three-year deal worth six million per.

That is until you realize that Patterson is a power forward who can really space the floor (he shot 41.1 percent from behind the arc in 2.3 attempts per game). That skill is a must in the NBA today with so many players wanting to put the ball on the floor and get to the cup. That makes Patterson a must have for the Raptors who have players like Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan who love to put the ball on the floor.

Did the Raptors overpay Patterson according to his production? Absolutely, but they are looking at skill set more than production as they try to build a championship caliber team moving forward.  And a big guy who can shoot it from the outside is one of the most valuable things an NBA team can have.

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