It’s no secret what the Oklahoma City Thunder’s priority is this summer. But the team turned heads last week, when Serge Ibaka was dealt to the Magic for a package of players headlined by Victor Oladipo on draft night.
Everyone wondered how this deal would affect OKC’s chances of re-signing Kevin Durant. Well, it looks like it didn’t hurt.
"It’s a good move," Durant told reporters, via The Oklahoman. "I like Oladipo. He’s a good buddy, a friend of mine, and I’m definitely going to miss playing with Serge. He contributed so much to our organization and to the city, and he’s a pioneer for what he’s done for us and it’s always going to be remembered in OKC what he’s done for the community and his hard work on the court, so we wish him the best."
The Thunder gained another dynamic scorer in Oladipo in the move but lost some shot blocking by trading Ibaka. The organization probably felt comfortable moving Ibaka after seeing Steven Adams emerge as a defensive presence in this year’s playoffs.
It’s a risky move for OKC, which was one win from reaching the NBA Finals but blew a 3-1 lead to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
Will the new-look roster intrigue Durant enough to return to the only franchise he’s play for during his nine-year career? With free agency starting Friday, we will soon find out that answer.