The Thunder Bulk Up

The Thunder add some toughness.


The Oklahoma City Thunder have bolstered their front court in a trade with the Chicago Bulls.

Thunder get:

Taj Gibson (11.6 points per game, 7.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 27.3 minutes)
Doug McDermott (10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 24.5 minutes)
A 2018 Second Round Pick

Bulls get:

Cameron Payne (5.3 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 16.0 minutes)
Joffrey Lauvergne (5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 14.8 minutes)
Anthony Morrow (5.8 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 15.7 minutes)

With the Playoffs on the horizon, the Thunder have added some toughness to their lineup in the veteran Gibson. He brings Playoff experience into the starting lineup, while rookie Domantas Sabonis will likely head to the bench. The move forms a bruising big man tandem of Gibson and Steven Adams. It is not going to be fun to play them in the Playoffs. Also joining the Thunder is Doug McDermott, who will provide extra shooting off the bench. It’s a nice move for OKC. They’ve improved their Playoff rotation, and their Playoff ruggedness.

For the Bulls, they’re getting a potential point guard of the future in Cameron Payne. He’s a highly regarded prospect, but with Russell Westbrook ahead of him, OKC just wasn’t going to be the place for him to get to develop. Now, he’ll get a chance in Chicago. It’s a risk for the Bulls. Payne’s coming off an injury, and he hasn’t been shooting particularly well since returning this year. If the one thing the Bulls don’t need, it’s another guard who can’t shoot. Nevertheless, he’ll get an opportunity to show what he can do. Other than that, I’m not sure if this trade really helps the Bulls moving forward. They’re still trying to hang in the Eastern Playoffs, and Gibson’s a guy that would have helped them get there. I’m not sure if the same can be said for Lauvergne and Morrow. It’ll pay off if Payne ends up becoming their point guard of the future, but if he doesn’t, this could turn out to be a pretty horrendous deal for the Bulls.

Author: tomeagher

Watching too much basketball.

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