Oklahoma City Thunder Trade Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic
In the only major move of the NBA draft last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder dealt Serge Ibaka and his expiring contract to Orlando. New Orlando Magic head coach, Frank Vogel, is looking for a veteran rim protector with some abilities to stretch the floor.
The Thunder gained a versatile and athletic guard, Victor Oladipo, along with Ersan Ilyasova and Damantis Sabonis.
Ibaka had increasingly, and publicly, grown unhappy in Oklahoma, occasionally lamenting his responsibilities of defense and asking for more touches on offense. His ability to block shots and get back on defense has earned him the honors of NBA AllDefense 3 times.
He has also proven that his game can expand adding the 3 point shot into his regimen and helping OKC stretch the floor.
What Exactly are the Thunder Getting?
Victor Oladipo is an incredibly athletic guard who plays tight defense and is an accompanying instrument to any offense. He will be a nice fit as a backup to Russel Westbrook and adding some fire off the bench.
Ilyasova is a 7-year veteran who can come off the bench and give good minutes. His most productive season came in Milwaukee in 2011-2012 where he averaged 27 minutes per game and shot 50% from the field. At 6’10”, he can protect the rim and clog the lane of defense.
More than anything, the Oklahoma City Thunder made some room for the expiring contract of superstar, Kevin Durant. Thunder GM, Sam Presti, stated more than once that he would like to see Kevin Durant in a Thunder uniform for years to come.
The cap space made by trading Ibaka will allow the team to offer Durant more money and still try and surround him and Westbrook with the proper pieces to get their first championship.
For Orlando, new coach Frank Vogel gets a star to add to his roster and an excellent defender. Two things he used to have in Paul George while in Indiana. Whether or not this trade will work out for both teams will have to be decided on the court next year.
As for now, this trade made last night was an interesting surprise to both parties.
(Oklahoma City Thunder Trade Serge Ibaka)