NBA trade roundup: Serge Ibaka to the Magic
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The Thunder have traded forward Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the newly drafted Domantas Sabonis, perhaps tweaking the roster to appeal to soon-to-be free agent Kevin Durant.
The Magic announced the deal.
Ibaka has been one of the league’s top defenders, but his offensive production has dipped. He averaged career highs of 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds in 2013-14, but those numbers fell to 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds last season.
Oladipo fills Oklahoma City’s need for a two-way shooting guard. He averaged 16 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists last season.
Sabonis, the No. 11 overall pick, is the son of former NBA player Arvydas Sabonis. The 6-foot-11 power forward from Gonzaga averaged 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds last season.
The Nets will acquire Michigan shooting guard Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers after Brooklyn traded Thaddeus Young to Indiana earlier in the day for the No. 20 draft pick.
The Pacers sent their first-round pick to the Nets on Thursday, hours before the draft began, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal could not be announced until the NBA salary cap goes up in July.
The 6-foot-7 LeVert had each of his last two seasons cut short by injuries to his left foot. He has had three surgeries the last two years, including one in March at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He was at Barclays Center, the home of his new team, dressed in a Michigan maize and blue suits and got a big ovation from the fans when his name was announced as Indiana’s pick.
But LeVert knows he’ll be playing in Brooklyn.
“You know, I went for a visit about a month ago. I knew the staff really liked me but I didn’t know if they had any first-round picks,” he said. “I probably won’t be doing Summer League, but my X-rays and CT scans look good. It’s just a matter of rushing back right now.”
LeVert averaged 16.5 points in 15 games as a senior last year and 14.9 in 18 games as a junior. He shot 40.1 percent from 3-point range in his career.
The Nets are starting a major rebuild under new general manager Sean Marks and new coach Kenny Atkinson, but had no first-round pick in Thursday night’s draft. The Celtics hold the Nets’ pick, No. 3 overall, as Brooklyn (21-61 last season) continues to pay for the 2013 trade that brought Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to New York. Picking up a first-round draft pick gives the Nets another asset to either use for their roster or peddle in trade offers going forward.
The Nets also received a future second-round pick from the Pacers.
It’s the second big move this week by Pacers President Larry Bird as he looks to retool the team and make it a faster, sleeker group for new coach Nate McMillan. The Pacers landed point guard Jeff Teague in a three-team trade with Atlanta and Utah that sent George Hill to the Jazz on Wednesday.
Young is a versatile steals artist who averaged 15.1 points with the Nets last season. He signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Nets last summer and Marks had said the 28-year-old was part of the team’s plans for the upcoming season.
Instead, he flipped Young to get back into the first round. The Nets are still on the hook with the Celtics for the next two seasons. Next year Boston has the right to swap first-round picks with Brooklyn and the Celtics own the Nets’ 2018 first-rounder, too.
The Nets also hold the 55th overall selection in Thursday’s draft. The Pacers still have a second-rounder, No. 50 overall.
Belinelli to the Hornets
Charlotte Hornets general manager Rich Cho said last week the team was thinking of trading out of the NBA draft.
That became a reality on Thursday night after the Hornets dealt their only draft pick — the No. 22 selection overall — to the Sacramento Kings for veteran shooting guard Marco Belinelli, a person familiar with the situation said.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade won’t become official until after the NBA’s new fiscal season begins on July 7.
That meant Charlotte picked for Sacramento at No. 22, taking Syracuse forward Malachi Richardson. Richardson, who led the Orange to the Final Four last season, will join the Kings after the trade is approved by the league.
Hornets general manager Rich Cho couldn’t discuss the trade under NBA rules except to say “we are currently in discussions to trade the pick to another team. But we can’t consummate a trade until after the moratorium is over. Therefore we can’t comment until trade discussions are completed.”
Belinelli will look to re-ignite his career in Charlotte.
He signed a $19 million, three-year deal to join the Kings as a free agent last summer but did not fit in well with the team. The Hornets will be on the hook for the remaining $13.26 million over the next two seasons for Belinelli.
The 30-year-old Belinelli shot a career-worst 30.6 percent from 3-point range last season and struggled defensively. He scored 10.2 points per game, mostly coming off the bench.
He is a career 37.9 percent shooter from 3-point range and has started 216 career games.
The nine-year NBA veteran has played for six teams during his career, winning an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2013-14. Belinelli has averaged 9.5 points and 1.6 assists per game during his career and shoots 42.4 percent from the field.
Belinelli, from Italy, spent his first two seasons with Golden State, before moving on to Toronto, where he spent one season. He spent two seasons with New Orleans and a year with Chicago before joining the Spurs in 2013-14, where he was the 3-point shootout champion.
The move could be an admission the Hornets will not be able re-sign either Courtney Lee or Jeremy Lin — or possibly both — in free agency. The Hornets have eight free agents and have said their top priority is to re-sign Nicolas Batum, who is expected to receive around $20 million per year.
Cho said the Hornets considered trading up, down and completely out of the draft.
“We are always trying to improve the team and that is the overriding goal of the offseason,” Cho said.
The Hornets didn’t have a second-round pick.
Cho said the team briefly considered trading back into the second round but “some of the guys that we wanted were gone” and decided not to make a move.
Charlotte finished 48-34 in 2015-16, its third season under coach Steve Clifford.
The long wait to find out which NBA team would be in his future was over in a hurry for Domantas Sabonis.
The sophomore forward from Gonzaga was chosen 11th in the NBA draft Thursday night by the Orlando Magic and by the time he did his first interview a minute or two later, he let the world know he wouldn’t be headed to Florida.
Sabonis, the son of Hall of Fame big man Arvydas Sabonis who starred for the Soviet Union, told ESPN that his rights were traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the NBA made the trade official about two hours later.
— The Sacramento Kings traded the rights to freshman forward Marquese Chriss of Washington, the eighth overall pick to the Phoenix Suns for the rights to center Georgios Papagiannis of Greece, the No. 13 pick, the rights to freshman Skal Labissiere of Kentucky, the 28th pick, a 2020 second-round draft pick and the rights to guard Bogdan Bogdanovic.
— The Boston Celtics traded the rights to freshman forward Deyonta Davis of Michigan State, the 31st pick, and forward Rade Zagorac of Serbia, the 35th pick, to the Memphis Grizzlies for a 2019 first-round draft pick.
— The Los Angeles Clippers traded the rights to freshman center Cheick Diallo of Kansas, the 33rd pick, to the New Orleans Pelicans for the rights to guard David Michineau of France, the 39th pick and freshman center Diamond Stone of Maryland, the 40th pick.