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Former Creighton big man and Omaha native Justin Patton was drafted 16th overall by the Chicago Bulls but will head to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of the blockbuster trade for Bulls star Jimmy Butler. Minnesota will receive Butler and Patton, while Chicago gets Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen.
The NBA offseason has been filled with drama in the form of trade rumors and draft buzz, but Justin Patton found himself smack dab in the middle of the biggest move made so far.
The whirlwind is nothing new for Patton though. In high school, he went from completely off the radar and without any scholarship offers to a top 50 national recruit headed to Creighton. Then after redshirting to better prepare himself for the college game, Patton went from completely off the NBA radar, to a surefire first round selection within just a few months of his first game as a Bluejay.
In his lone season at Creighton, Justin Patton put up 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Jays while shooting 67.6 percent from the field. While his numbers were significant, his real appeal to the NBA scouts was his ability to run the floor and finish above the rim, while possessing the skill set to shoot, pass and handle the ball at almost seven feet tall. Patton's combination of size and skills is what many NBA teams covet in their modern big men.
Even while getting drafted into the NBA in New York City, Patton still remembered where he came from, flashing Omaha's signature "O!" logo on the inside of his suit jacket.