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Serge Ibaka traded for Oladipo, Ilyasova and Sabonis - Jun 23, 2016


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Serge Ibaka
The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded forward Serge Ibaka (208-109kg-89) to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo (6'4''-G-92, college: Indiana), Ersan Ilyasova (6'10''-F-87) and the newly drafted Domantas Sabonis (6'10''-F/C-96), perhaps tweaking the roster to appeal to soon-to-be free agent Kevin Durant.
The Magic announced the deal Thursday night.
Ibaka has been one of the league's top defenders, but his offensive production has dipped the past two seasons. He averaged career highs of 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds in 2013-14, but those numbers fell to 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds last season.
Oladipo fills Oklahoma City's need for a two-way shooting guard. He averaged 16 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists last season.
Sabonis, the No. 11 overall pick, is the son of former NBA player Arvydas Sabonis. The 6-foot-11 power forward from Gonzaga averaged 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds last season.
Ilyasova averaged 10.4 points for Detroit and Orlando last season.
Oklahoma City's top concern, aside from re-signing Durant, has been strengthening its shooting guard position, a weakness since trading James Harden to Houston in 2012. This past season, Oklahoma City used a combination of defensive stopper Andre Roberson and the scoring-minded Dion Waiters at that spot, with Randy Foye mixed in.
Roberson, a 6-foot-7 leaper, improved on offense in the playoffs and has potential, but his career marks of 3.6 points per game and 27.4 percent from 3-point range put him in danger of being replaced.
Waiters, while a solid offensive threat, shot 35.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc last season and has a 33.4 percent career mark. He is a restricted free agent, and adding Oladipo would soften the blow if the Thunder weren't able to resign him. Oladipo had two of his best games last season against the Thunder - 21 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists on Oct. 30, and a 37-point outing on Feb. 3.
Ibaka emerged from raw talent to core piece for the Thunder along with Durant and Russell Westbrook. He led the league with 3.7 blocks per game in 2011-12 and led the league in the same category again the next season. He was on the NBA's All-Defensive first team three straight years.
As the game changed and Ibaka was drawn away from the basket more by perimeter shooting big men, Ibaka became valuable as a versatile defender who could still block shots, yet still keep up with guards on switches.
Ibaka emerged as an offensive player during the 2013-14 season while Westbrook was out with a knee injury and averaged career-highs of 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds while leading the league in total blocks. The next season, Ibaka extended his consistent mid-range jumper out to three-point range, but his overall averages fell and he missed the final part of the season with a knee injury. Last season saw more offensive regression, as his 3-point percentage fell from 37.6 percent to 32.6.

Courtesy of NBA.com   




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