NBA notebook: Ibaka, Oladipo swapped
During a week meant to celebrate the future stars of the NBA, it was the veterans who stole the spotlight.Forward Serge Ibaka and guard Victor Oladipo were the biggest names moved during Thursday night's NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in New Yo...
During a week meant to celebrate the future stars of the NBA, it was the veterans who stole the spotlight.
Forward Serge Ibaka and guard Victor Oladipo were the biggest names moved during Thursday night’s NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in New York, but they weren’t alone.
Established stars such as Derrick Rose, Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young, among others, also found new homes leading up to draft night.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Oladipo, forward Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to the No. 11 overall pick, forward Domantas Sabonis of Gonzaga.
Ibaka, a three-time selection to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team who led the league in blocks for four consecutive seasons from 2010-11 to 2013-14, spent his first six years in the league with the Thunder, averaging 11.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
In 2011-12, Ibaka was the runner up for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award, which went to Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks. The power forward’s best season came in 2013-14, when Ibaka averaged career highs in points (15.1 per game) and rebounds (8.8) to go along with 2.7 blocks.
Ibaka’s numbers have tailed off ever since, and the 26-year-old averaged 12.6 points, 6.8 boards and 1.9 blocks this past season.
Oladipo, meanwhile, is entering his prime after three seasons in the league. The 24-year-old guard has filled up the stat sheet to the tune of career averages of 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, four assists and 1.6 steals.
The former two-time NBA Rookie of the Month has spent most of his career as a starter, but he has come off the bench 57 times. He will either battle Dion Waiters for the starting two-guard spot or serve as the Thunder’s sixth man.
Sabonis, 20, averaged 17.6 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 33 games for the Bulldogs this season.
Marquese Chriss was the highest draft pick who found himself on the move Thursday, as the former University of Washington standout was drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the No. 8 overall pick, then dealt to the Phoenix Suns for the No. 13 pick and guard Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Greek center Georgios Papagiannis was Sacramento’s selection at No. 13.
In addition, the Kings received the No. 28 overall pick, which was used to take Kentucky forward Skal Labissiere, and a second-round pick in 2020.
- Despite a flurry of rumors, Jimmy Butler is still a member of the Bulls after nothing came to fruition during Thursday night's draft.
There was heavy interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are coached by former Chicago head man Tom Thibodeau. The Boston Celtics were reported to have interest and same for the Orlando Magic.
But according to Chicago general manager Gar Forman, all that chatter was nonexistent. He said there weren't any draft-night talks involving Butler despite the heavy dose of reports that claimed there was plenty of trade banter.
Chicago traded former MVP Derrick Rose the day before the draft and a trade of Butler would have indicated a full rebuilding situation was on the docket.
- Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal became the latest player to pass on playing for Team USA in the Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro when he announced that he declined a roster spot.
Beal, who turns 23 on Tuesday, dealt with a leg injury last season and said on his Twitter account that improving his physical condition for the 2016-17 NBA season is the top priority.
Cavaliers forward LeBron James declined a spot on the United States team for the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.
James’ agent, Rich Paul, reportedly informed Team USA’s Jerry Colangelo on Thursday. James just finished leading the Cavaliers to the NBA title on Sunday. Cleveland won the final three games of the seven-game series.
James played in three previous Olympics and is Team USA’s all-time leading scorer with 273 points.
Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony and Butler are among the latest players who have committed to playing for Team USA. Anthony, the New York Knicks forward, will be on the 12-man squad for a fourth time. Butler, a guard for the Chicago Bulls, will be playing in his first Olympics.
Also giving commitments to play are the Toronto Raptors backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry and Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
Also, Portland point guard Damian Lillard (foot) won’t be part of the team due to injury and San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard withdrew his name from consideration. Detroit center Andre Drummond also decided not to play.