After the Orlando Magic selected Domantis Sabonis with the eleventh overall pick, they flipped him, Victor Oladipo, and Ersan Ilyasova for Serge Ibaka, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. This deal was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Interestingly, I like this deal due to the amount of guard depth in Orlando with Mario Hezonja, Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton, C.J. Watson, and Brandon Jennings. Jennings and Fournier should be retained with Oladipo departing in this trade. The Magic lose solid defensive play on the perimeter, but they hit the biggest need and that is a rim protector in the interior part of the defense. Vucevic gets the help he needs, plus Frank Vogel will develop Vucevic’s defensive game by teaching him, which he is not the best defender, but a good rebounder.
Next, Ibaka is not going to impress the crowd with his offensive play, but he will touch the ball more than he did in Oklahoma City. In Ibaka’s seven seasons with the Thunder, he put up some good numbers by scoring 14.4 points per game, blocking 3.1 blocks per game, and grabbing 9.2 rebounds per game. He shot 52 percent from the field and put up 36 percent from behind the arc, which is impressive, as he improved his three-point shot just a year or two ago.
In addition to his stats, he had a good year or I should say the typical Ibaka season, but he will have to play at a higher level in Orlando, as he does not have Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook. Ibaka scored 14.2 points per game and grabbed 7.7 boards per game, which those 7.7 rebounds per game are the lowest he has produced in his seven year career and the same with blocks per game (2.1). He shot 48 percent from the field, which is good, as he shoots from any part of the offensive zone.
Finally, this move will hurt Magic fans for a while, but they will soon get over it, as Ibaka will bring some spark to the team and crowd with his massive blocks and explosive rebounds.
Grade for the Magic: B+