Feature photo: Victor Oladipo Russ Isabella / USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma City’s General Manager Sam Presti must be like a pig in slop tonight as his Thunder have added Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, 11th pick of the 2016 NBA draft, Domantas Sabonis, and forward Ersan Ilyasova, also of the Magic, for Serge Ibaka. What a night for Presti and OKC, a team that came into the draft tonight without a pick.
This trade makes great sense for the Thunder as Serge Ibaka will be on the last year of his contract in 2016-17 at $12.0 million. He was expected to ask for a maximum contract in the summer of 2017. With his lowest numbers in points, rebounds and block in the just ended season, the move of Ibaka must please GM Sam Presti.
In Oladipo, a 6′ 4 guard/forward, the Thunder get a lock down defender with point guard skills and a three year career scorer of 15.9 ppg in his 167 starts and 224 appearances. He would become a starter for the Thunder and allows them more flexibility to deal with Dion Waiters and his contract negotiations this summer.
Adding Domantas Sabonis, the Thunder get a first line draft pick that will add to the Enes Kanter/ Steven Adams front court. He is a strong, agile and fleet big man. The Thunder get a better future in the paint without losing anything from the wing or the backcourt (with Oladipo). Fact of the matter, OKC is now even stronger a team than they were yesterday.
And the kicker, OKC gets 29 year old Ersan Illyasova, an experienced NBA big, initially from Turkey (Enes Kanter, do you hear?). The six foot ten post averaged around his career average of ten points a game last year in the Association with Detroit and Orlando in 74 games. He can play significant minutes next season, giving OKC time to develop their other younger post players.
OKC gets an A+ on Draft day 2016.