The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Tuesday that rookie Justin Patton will not play in Las Vegas Summer League and is out indefinitely after he suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot that required surgery, according to the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps and the Associated Press' Jon Krawczynski.
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune relayed the team's statement:
Jerry Zgoda @JerryZgoda
Wolves announce rookie Justin Patton had surgery for broken bone in foot sustained recently https://t.co/LRn28Ooj992017-7-4 21:06:15
The Timberwolves acquired Patton, 20, on draft night June 22 in the blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bulls that also netted them three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler.
Selected 16th overall, Patton was a freshman sensation with the Creighton Bluejays before he made the jump to the NBA.
In 35 games last season, he averaged 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest while shooting 67.6 percent from the field.
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Now that Patton is out indefinitely, the Timberwolves should deploy Cole Aldrich—assuming they don't trade him—as their primary backup behind Karl-Anthony Towns.
During his first season in Minnesota, Aldrich averaged 1.7 points and 2.5 boards in 8.6 minutes per game.
Gorgui Dieng and Taj Gibson—who recently agreed to a deal with Minnesota in free agency, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical—could also be asked to soak up time at the 5 if head coach Tom Thibodeau continues to shy away from playing Aldrich in a regular rotational role.