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Lamar Patterson's NBA Dream on hold, former Pitt forward heading to Turkey

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David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Patterson participated on the Atlanta Hawks' Summer League team, but his performances weren't strong enough to get a roster spot with the team.

Despite the fact that the Hawks invested a second-round pick on Patterson, he won't be playing for the team right away. Patterson didn't sign a contract with the team and as a result, is headed to Turkey to begin his pro career.

If you don't follow the NBA or know about how this all works, here's a tl;dr version.

  • Patterson's rights are still owned by the Hawks and even if another team wants him, he couldn't play for them right now. He's now under contract for one year with the Tofas Sports Club team and they play from October to May, per the Pitt News.
  • If a team is really interested in getting Patterson, they can swing a trade with the Hawks for his rights. Atlanta can also sign him after the Turkish season.

This isn't unprecedented in the NBA and even with the Hawks. They did the same thing with Mike Muscala, their second-round pick from last year before bringing him back at the end of the year to play for their team. In other words, Patterson going to Turkey definitely doesn't mean he'll never play for the Hawks.

I was hopeful that Patterson would get his chance, but his inconsistency in the Summer League probably played a part in it. And as Peachtree Hoops points out, with some additions to the roster, there wasn't much room for him.

Patterson seems to be taking the news in stride, though his goal is clear - to get to the NBA.

"I am excited about heading to Tofas in Turkey this season. The Turkish league is extremely competitive and the team also plays in a great international league called EuroChallenge. My goal absolutely remains to play for the Hawks and this is an important step to help me get there. I am going to continue working extremely hard this year and I will come back as an improved player who is ready to contribute in any way possible to help the Hawks win games."

It's obviously too early to rule Patterson out of the NBA. Much will depend on his development in the Turkish League and some strong play there will give him a better shot of suiting up for the Hawks next season.

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