LOS ANGELES (AP) -Ruben Patterson, the free-agent forward who averaged a career-high 14.7 points with the Milwaukee Bucks last season, has signed a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. No terms were announced.
``We are thrilled to add Ruben to our team,'' Clippers vice president of basketball operations Elgin Baylor said in a statement issued Wednesday. ``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.''
Elton Brand, the Clippers' starting power forward, ruptured his left Achilles' tendon Aug. 3 and is expected to be sidelined for the first several months of the season.
The 32-year-old Patterson, appeared in 81 games in his only season with Milwaukee and averaged 5.4 rebounds to match his career high. He made 55 percent of his field goal attempts - his highest percentage as a professional.
The Los Angeles Lakers made Patterson the 31st overall selection in the 1998 NBA draft. He has averaged 10.9 points, 4.2 rebounds. 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals with the Lakers, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Milwaukee in a nine-year career. He played 10 games for AEK Athens in Greece during the 1998-99 season as well.
Patterson split time with the Trail Blazers and Nuggets during the 2005-06 season.
Patterson, a 6-foot-5, 223-pounder, averaged 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds as a senior at Cincinnati before being drafted by the Lakers.
``I am really excited by our signing of Ruben Patterson,'' Clippers 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.''
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