With the 2016 NBA Draft in full swing, the Thunder decided to get in on the action by trading Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the draft rights to Domantis Sabonis. The news was first reported by The Vertical.
Oklahoma City has traded Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic, league sources told @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2016
Orlando will send Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and rights to Sabonis to the Thunder, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2016
The move addresses an immediate need at the shooting guard position by adding a young playmaker in Victor Oladipo, while Ilyasova is a stretch power forward who has had his moments in the league. It's been known the Thunder has liked Oladipo for a long time, seeing it was reported they tried to move up in the 2013 draft to acquire him but were unsuccessful.
I wanted Oladipo in OKC when he came out. Thought he had Thunder written all over him, but then he shot up the board.— Nate Jones (@JonesOnTheNBA) June 24, 2016
Yeaaaaaaaa OKC!! We got Oladipo!! It's about to be live in the 405!! I love it!!— Gerald McCoy (@Geraldini93) June 24, 2016
Victor Oladipo is from DC. Friends with Kevin Durant. For what it's worth.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 24, 2016
Oladipo will benefit the Thunder greatly, but the upside in the deal comes with the kicker: the rights to Sabonis.
Sabonis is a scrappy player from Gonzaga who has huge upside and should fit nicely alongside Steven Adams. Sabonis goes up strong for rebounds, and can stretch the floor by knocking down the outside shot. Many experts believe he's ready to play at the pro level next season and likely won't have a hard time adjusting.
Sam Presti wasn't done dealing, as the Thunder traded into the second round by purchasing the 56th pick in the draft and selected UConn's Daniel Hamilton. The forward will likely be a player the Thunder are looking to develop, and should see some time playing for the OKC Blue in the D-League.