For a team that does not have a pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder did pretty well. They parted ways with their most consistent big guy in the past five years or so (Serge Ibaka) but ended up hauling more talent than they could have possibly imagined (Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and 11th pick Domantas Sabonis).
Ibaka may be the best player in the trade by default but Oladipo is not far behind, while Ilyasova is a legit sharpshooting big man who is not afraid to mix it up inside. Well, for Sabonis, the DNA speaks for itself.
Here are the fantasy winners and losers in the Serge Ibaka-Victor Oladipo trade:
Chris Mannix of the The Vertical recently shed light on why the Thunder pulled the trigger on the Ibaka trade and it wasn’t about the money. It’s about the Congo native’s growing unease of his decreased role in the team. In Orlando, however, he will be one of the main offensive guys, pretty much like what David West did for Frank Vogel in Indiana, only in a much more dynamic way.
Ibaka is not really a big rebounder at his position but he is highly capable of being a 16-18 PPG scorer when engaged and somewhere in the vicinity of 2.5 to 3 blocks is very possible. If he can continue his upward trend on his three-point shooting, he could actually be a top-3 to 5 power forward in fantasy once again.
Fournier is the No. 8 shooting guard in the ESPN Player Rater last year and just for the fact that Orlando chose for him to stay over Oladipo says a lot about his growth. While his main value lies in his scoring and three-point shooting (2 makes on 40% shooting last year), you can expect all the other categories to spike up with a slight increase in role and minutes. It looks like the Magic is sold on him as a shooter and a wing scorer, with only Mario Hezonja behind him on the depth chart.
Oladipo’s chances for deep playoff runs just multiplied 400% (and could be up if Kevin Durant stays) but even without KD, playing alongside Russell Westbrook will have a negative impact on his Usage Rate. That is exactly the reason why Ibaka and Reggie Jackson before him wanted a way out of OKC in the first place.
However, it’s not that Oladipo can’t produce anything. His defensive prowess should still make him valuable and 13-15 points a night is still within reach. Not just like what he did in Orlando (16 points, 4 assists) but it’s wise to expect some regression.
Will Gordon be shipped out later under Vogel’s watch? Probably, because he isn’t a fit in his half court style offense and the presence of Ibaka makes matters worse. Gordon has a chance get under Vogel’s good graces but it could mean lesser minutes and lesser opportunities for the ultra-athletic forward.
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports