The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agent forward Ruben Patterson. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
A nine-year NBA veteran, Patterson is coming off a successful 2006-07 season in Milwaukee, where he established new career-highs by averaging 14.7 points, 2.9 assists and 31.4 minutes per game. Patterson appeared in 81 games for the Bucks, equaling a career-high while also tying his career-high with 5.4 rebounds per game. Patterson shot 55 percent from the field last season, his highest field goal percentage as a pro.
“We are thrilled to add Ruben to our team,” Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Elgin Baylor said. “Ruben plays hard every single night. He is an aggressive defensive player and has a real enthusiasm for the game. He gives 100 percent every game.”
The Clippers will be Patterson’s fifth NBA team, as he spent the 2006-07 season with the Bucks after appearing in 70 games and splitting time with the Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets in 2005-06. Patterson faced the Clippers in the 2006 NBA Playoffs, appearing in four games and starting one as the Clippers defeated the Nuggets.
“I am really excited by our signing of Ruben Patterson,” Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. “He is a great competitor. I have always admired the intensity he brings from game to game. His versatility will help improve our team.”
In his career, which has also seen stops with the Seattle Supersonics and Los Angeles Lakers, Patterson has averaged 10.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Originally drafted by the Lakers with the 31st overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft out of Cincinnati, Patterson played in 10 games for AEK Athens in Greece during the 1998-99 season as well. The Ohio native signed with Seattle before the 1999-2000 season and then moved to Portland prior to the 2001-02 season.
Patterson was a star at the University of Cincinnati, averaging 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game during his senior year and earning Second Team All-Conference USA honors. Patterson played his first two years of collegiate basketball at Independence Community College in Kansas before transferring to Cincinnati for the 1996-97 season.