The Oklahoma City Thunder gave the Golden State Warriors a good fight in the West Finals but have decided to make major changes in their roster by dealing Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis in the latest NBA trade this 2016 offseason.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports confirmed the deal on Twitter but it was a surprising move for OKC, which lost in seven games to the Warriors in the last 2016 NBA Playoffs.
It’s not clear how the NBA trade will affect Kevin Durant’s decision in free agency as he has been linked to multiple teams including the Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards this summer.
Ibaka was one of the key players for the Thunder this season. He struggled in some games in the regular season but played better in the playoffs where he averaged 12.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in 18 postseason games.
The Thunder will be getting big men back in the deal to try to replace Ibaka’s contribution. Ilyasova is a veteran forward who has been in the league since 2009 and is known for his rebounding and shooting.
Sabonis is the son of Lithuanian great Arvydas Sabonis, one of the greatest international basketball players and former NBA player, and the younger Sabonis played college basketball for Gonzaga from 2014 to 2016. Sabonis was picked 11th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Magic.
The centerpiece of the NBA trade for the Thunder would be Victor Oladipo, who was one of the leaders for the Magic since being drafted by the team as the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. In his three-year career in Orlando, Oladipo averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
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