After pushing the Golden State Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder wasted no time retooling their roster, as the team traded forward-center Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo, forward Ersan Ilyasova and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis.
“Serge is a young veteran who brings tremendous athleticism and toughness to our frontcourt,” said Orlando General Manager Rob Hennigan. “His tireless work ethic and wealth of playoff experience will help enhance our culture and roster. We thank Victor (Oladipo) for all of his contributions both on the court and in the community. We wish him and Ersan (Ilyasova) the best of luck in the future.”
With Ibaka, the Magic will receive an athletic, shotblocking big who can consistently hit a face-up jumper from outside.
Ibaka (6’10”, 235) played and started in 78 games with Oklahoma City last season, averaging 12.6 ppg., 6.8 rpg. and a team-high 1.90 blkpg. in 32.1 minpg. He ranked sixth in the NBA in blocked shots scored in double figures 62 times and had 20+ points six times, including a season-high 25 points on Jan. 4 vs. Sacramento.
Ibaka also appeared and started in all 18 playoff outings, averaging 12.0 ppg., 6.3 rpg. and a team-high 1.33 blkpg. in 33.5 minpg., while shooting .521 (85-163) from the floor and a team-best .449 (31-69) from three-point range. He has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team three times (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14) and is one of only two players in NBA history to lead the league in total blocked shots for four consecutive seasons (2010-14), joining Dikembe Mutombo.
With star Kevin Durant looking for a max deal this summer, and with the Thunder already enjoying quality depth along their frontline, the team ultimately felt that upgrading the backcourt was of greater importance. Hence, the addition of Oladipo to the trade.
Oladipo is a combo guard who can score, and more importantly, defend the perimeter.
Oladipo (6’4”, 210) appeared in 72 games (52 starts) with Orlando last season, averaging 16.0 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 3.9 apg. and a team-high 1.61 stlpg. in a team-high 33.0 minpg., while shooting .830 (205-247) from the free throw line. He has played in 224 career NBA regular season games (167 starts), all with the Magic, averaging 15.9 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 4.0 apg. and 1.63 stlpg. in 33.2 minpg.
Ilyasova (6’10”, 235) played in 74 games (56 starts) with both Detroit and Orlando last season, averaging 10.4 ppg. and 5.4 rpg. in 25.4 minpg., while shooting .371 (96-259) from three-point range.
Ilyasova has appeared in 527 career NBA regular season games (313 starts) with Milwaukee, Detroit and Orlando, averaging 10.6 ppg., 6.0 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 24.1 minpg., while shooting .370 (524-1,416) from three-point range. He has also played in 17 career playoff outings, averaging 9.8 ppg. and 6.2 rpg. in 24.5 minpg.
Orlando selects Stephen Zimmerman in 2016 NBA Draft
The Orlando Magic have selected Stephen Zimmerman in the second round (41st overall) of NBA Draft 2016. In addition, Orlando acquired a future second round draft pick and cash considerations from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for the draft rights to Jake Layman (47th overall), General Manager Rob Hennigan announced.
Zimmerman (7’0”, 240, 9/9/96) played in 26 games (24 starts) with UNLV as a freshman last season, averaging 10.5 ppg., a team-high 8.7 rpg. and a team-high 1.96 blkpg. in 26.2 minpg. He ranked second in the Mountain West Conference in blocked shots and third in rebounding. Zimmerman scored in double figures 17 times, including a career-high 21 points on Feb. 2 at New Mexico. He pulled down 10-plus rebounds 13 times, including a career-best 16 boards on Jan. 19 at Utah State.
While at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Zimmerman led the Gaels to four straight state championships, becoming the only player in Nevada history to accomplish the feat at the large-school level. His 114 career wins also made him the winningest player in school history. As a senior (2014-15), Zimmerman was selected as both a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Brand All-American, after averaging 14.7 ppg., 10.1 rpg., 4.2 apg., 2.4 blkpg and 1.2 stlpg.
During the summer of 2014, Zimmerman was a member of USA Basketball’s U18 National Team, which won gold at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships. He averaged 8.8 ppg., 6.2 rpg. and 1.2 blkpg. in five outings. Zimmerman teamed with Myles Turner, Justise Winslow and Stanley Johnson on that squad. He also played for the U.S. team at the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services