There were a handful of moves made before the NBA Draft kicked off on Thursday night, and a few moves made during the lottery portion of the Draft as well, but it was the blockbuster trade between the Orlando Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder that really grabbed people’s attention.
The Magic took Domatas Sabonis, son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, with the 11th overall pick. However, not long after that, we found out that Sabonis wasn’t long for Orlando. He, along with Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova were traded to the Thunder for Serge Ibaka.
Ibaka has been a key piece for the Thunder in recent years, as he is a three-time NBA All-Defensive Team player and a tremendous rim protector. He is also in the last year of his deal, which may be why the Thunder were willing to move on from him. Oladipo has defensive skills of his own, and there is still room for him to improve his game, while Sabonis gives them depth, and years of control, for another big man. Ersan Ilyasova can stretch the floor and board as a forward. Of course, the Thunder’s biggest concern is the future of Kevin Durant, who is a free agent, and a much more important piece.
Anytime name players such as Ibaka and Oladipo get traded, it sends shockwaves through the NBA world. Twitter found itself flooded with people expressing their opinions on the trade. For the most part, most fans and analysts agree that Thunder general manager Sam Presti won this trade, and Magic GM Rob Hennigan gave up too much for a player — Ibaka — who saw a dip in his production on both sides of the ball in coach Billy Donovan’s first year coaching.