ATLANTA — Patrick Patterson didn’t have much time to process the news, so the third-year forward’s reaction after being traded to the Sacramento Kings was understandable.
“Pretty much just frustration at first, disappointment,” Patterson said Thursday. “I was sad. Those were my initial thoughts and emotions. But as time went on, I cooled off, got level-headed. Now I’m good, I’m excited.”
Patterson will join the Kings on Friday along with Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas, the other players who are part of Wednesday’s six-player deal that sent Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt to the Houston Rockets.
Patterson is the most notable player acquired by the Kings in a deal that will net the team $1.3 million in salary savings as well as $1 million in cash that came from the Rockets.
Patterson was preparing to start at power forward for the Rockets against the Oklahoma City Thunder when he found out 20 minutes before tipoff that he wouldn’t be in the lineup.
“I knew there was going to be a trade made, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure if I was going to be in or not,” Patterson said. “They told me right before the game I was traded to Sacramento.”
It will be more than just a change of cities for Patterson, who goes from a playoff contender to the Kings, who are 19-36. And there’s the possible sale and relocation of the team to Seattle.
Patterson said none of that bothers him.
“No, I don’t think about that,” Patterson said. “I’ve read about it, I’ve seen it. And I know the fans have been dealing with that. … I’m only focused on the team.”
Patterson said the transition will be eased because he already knows some of the Kings players. He was DeMarcus Cousins’ teammate at Kentucky, and he knows Chuck Hayes (who also went to Kentucky), Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas.
“I’m not going to be a stranger,” Patterson said. “I have guys I can call friends ahead of time.”
Patterson said he plans to play “as soon as possible,” but that likely won’t happen before Sunday in New Orleans, after the new players take their physicals.
Patterson, who was the 14th pick in the 2010 NBA draft, likely will receive the minutes off the bench that were going to Robinson, the fifth pick in 2012.
Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said Patterson is a more developed player who can help space the floor.
Petrie also said Aldrich hasn’t had an opportunity to play consistently since entering the league in 2010, and Douglas, who has had “significant” moments in the NBA (most coming with the New York Knicks), adds athletic ability.
Kings management was happy after selecting Robinson in last year’s draft, saying they considered him the second-best player available, and their critics are upset he was traded during his rookie season in what is seen as a cost-saving move.
“It makes us different for sure, and the question always becomes, are we better?” Petrie said. “(But) it’s not a question of giving up on Thomas.”