Thunder Trade Serge Ibaka to Magic, Receive Victor Oladipo

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty)

If Kevin Durant decides to return to the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason, it'll be without what had become a very familiar face.

OKC reportedly traded Serge Ibaka to the upstart Orlando Magic in a draft-night move that still needs league approval.

In return, Durant's incumbent team will receive Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and No. 11 draft pick Domantas Sabonis.

During his end-of-season interview, Thunder general manager Sam Presti was asked whether shot-blocking forward Ibaka—who has one year and just over $12 million left on his contract—would be back in 2016-17, and the GM responded by saying the team's continuity was important to them.

But apparently the Magic's offer was too much to say no to.

In Oladipo, the Thunder land a dynamic dynamic two-way guard who only just turned 24 and is owed just under $12 million over the next two seasons before he hits restricted free agency. Though certainly not the shot-blocker nor finisher Ibaka is, Ilyasova can replicate Ibaka's rebounding and outside shooting at $8.4 million for one season.

And the Thunder must be enamored with Sabonis, son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis. Though probably not Hall-bound, Sabonis is a promising power forward who should be able to rebound and, with good foot speed, defend the pick-and-roll right away. A bruiser, he showed a good post scoring game at Gonzaga, but that might not translate in the NBA with a short wingspan. In time, he has the potential to stretch his midrange jumper to the three-point line, and he can handle the ball and shoot for a power forward.

But what does this mean for OKC's hopes of re-signing Durant?

Not looking too good.

 

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