CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — From Andrew Wiggins to Jamal Murray to R.J. Barrett, Canada has had a steady pipeline of high-major Division I and NBA talent in recent years.
Wiggins (Kansas) and Murray (Kentucky) are already in the NBA, while the Duke-bound Barrett is a projected top-three pick in next month's NBA Draft.
The next Canadian in that line could be Addison Patterson, the 6-foot-7, 205-pound class of 2020 small forward from Bella Vista Prep in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Team WhyNot on the Nike EYBL circuit. Like many Canadians before him, Patterson could opt to reclass and go to school in 2019.
"I see myself a lottery pick for sure," Patterson said at the recent Nike EYBL stop here. "I'm still working, I'm still in the lab right now so y'all ain't got the finished product yet. By the time I'm in college, I'm going to be a killer, my team's going to be winning. I bet I'm going to be the next one to come out of Canada for sure."
Patterson spent this past year at Bella Vista Prep after previously playing at Athlete Institute in Ontario. The Bella Vista Prep roster also featured five-star class of 2021 point guard Zion Harmon, four-star Arizona commit Terry Armstrong, and Jeron Artest, son of former NBA player Metta World Peace.
The school won the national championship on the Grind Session where they beat LaMelo Ball and Spire Institute of Geneva, Ohio, 96-94, in the final.
"Just the talent," he said of the move. "I like competing with the best. I like winning. Personal stats don't mean much to me so when I see a talented roster, I gotta go with it."
Patterson then joined Team WhyNot, the AAU outfit sponsored by Russell Westbrook.
"I saw the roster, I saw who was going to be hooping with us," he said. "Obviously, the Westbrook factor is a big factor. Just him coming to some of the sessions and being able get in touch with him, that was a big factor. And I think we have a bunch of talented guys, I think we can go pretty far."
Obviously, the ultimate goal is the Peach Jam in July. A year ago, Team Takeover beat Team WhyNot in the final there.
As for his recruitment, Patterson said he's wide open but listed Illinois, Oregon, and USC as "working the hardest." Coaches from all three schools have recently visited him in Arizona.
He broke down each school:
Illinois: "[They're] coming to Arizona a lot, coming to a lot of our practices, showing a lot of love."
Oregon: "Oregon definitely has the Canadian history [with players like Dillon Brooks, Chris Boucher, and Dylan Ennis] and definitely the effort that they put into getting me. I really appreciate it that the school is showing that they really want a player."
USC: "They've been kind of on and off, but lately they've been really heavy on me. They've shown a lot of interest. I went on an unofficial there."
Still, Patterson says he's wide open.
"I'm focusing on anybody who wants me, honestly," he said. "My options are wide open, but that's the three heaviest right now."
As for a timetable on a decision, he said, "Probably end of summer, starting next year."
Wherever he goes, he hopes to continue the Canadian pipeline of potential NBA talent.
"I'm going to be a coach's player, just whatever you ask me to do," he said. "I used to be just a dynamic scorer, didn't play much defense, didn't get many boards or nothing like that. Now I'm really trying to expand my game to all aspects and doing whatever the coach and the team needs."