Thunder Land McDermott, Gibson
Big deadline deal in OKC
In a deal that came together right at the 2PM CT trade deadline, GM Sam Presti has done it once again.
Thunder Send: Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, Anthony Morrow
Chicago Sends: Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, 2018 2nd Round Pick
Straight fleece-job by Presti. This man is a certified felon. Not only did he solidify the Power Forward position by adding Gibson, he also added a three-point shooter in Doug McDermott without giving up the perimeter defense of Andre Roberson. Huge wins across the board.
Let’s dive in here, shall we?
What We’re Receiving
What are we getting here? I’ll sum it up in one word:
Let’s start with Doug McDermott.
On a team that shoots 32% from downtown while taking the sixteenth most three-pointers in the league, McDermott will step in and immediately make a difference. He will space the floor for Russell Westbrook, and also serve as a scoring boost with the second unit. He’s averaging 10.2 PPG this season on 37% from downtown. As we all know, this team desperately needed shooting.
With Taj Gibson, the Thunder will likely have a new starting Power Forward. Although Domas Sabonis is the future at the position, adding a veteran in Gibson will give OKC a solid option for a postseason run. He offers offense when needed, but will be a great interior defender that can play alongside Steven Adams in the starting lineup. He’s averaging 11.6 points and 7 rebounds per game this season.
All-in-all, Sam Presti made a heck of a move to secure these two players and a 2018 second round pick. Both should be able to immediately contribute on a team that needs help, and with a favorable schedule down the stretch — a rise in the Western Conference standings certainly looks possible.
What We’re Losing
Although the move is exciting, it’s certainly sad to see Payne, Morrow and Lauvergne go. Let’s quickly touch on that here.
With Payne’s exit, look for Semaj Christon to re-assume the role of backup point guard behind Russell Westbrook. Although he was largely ineffective earlier in the season, he’s comfortable and capable of manning the ship while Westbrook gets his rest. I’d also assume Victor Oladipo will see a little bit more time at PG with the second unit.
In losing Morrow, OKC loses a strong veteran voice in the locker room. A-Mo was loved by fans during his time in OKC, but his on-court play had been less than stellar as of late. It hurts to see him go, but McDermott should provide more of a shooting threat on the second unit.
With Lauvergne, I don’t expect the impact to be significant in any way. Although he showed flashes, his inconsistent minutes and low-impact play should be replaced and then some by the addition of a veteran in Taj Gibson
What Else Did We Learn?
A lot, actually.
As Andre Roberson was rumored to be dealt for most of the day, not only does he stay in OKC, he also appears likely to re-sign in the offseason. As you know, he will be a restricted free agent soon.
And by giving up one more player than they received, the Thunder should be active in the buyout market. Maybe help at backup PG, but perhaps…Kendrick Perkins?
The fun is just beginning, folks. Let’s get it.