NBA Trade Grades: Thunder Get Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott From Chicago
The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott from the Chicago Bulls and we’re here with some NBA trade grades.
SF Doug McDermott
C Joffrey Lauvergne
SG Anthony Morrow
The Bulls had been shopping Gibson, who turns 32 in June and is on an expiring contract, but McDermott came as a bit of a surprise–as Nikola Mirotic had been the third-year forward on the trade block for most of the season.
The Thunder add some grit in Gibson and some much needed offensive punch in McDermott while not giving up much other than a young point guard with some potential in Payne.
Morrow has struggled with his shooting much of the season–not good when one’s specialty is shooting–and Lauvergne was never more than a spare part.
So how did each side fare? Let’s sort it out with some NBA Trade Grades.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder got a couple of needed upgrades for the stretch run without surrendering a lot.
— IXÈYÓ (@awakinggiant) February 23, 2017
80 degrees & a successful Thunder trade. It’s an all around beautiful day here in OKC. ☀️⚡️
— Kayla Tucker (@futurereporter1) February 23, 2017
Indeed, Thunder fans have a lot to like with this deal.
Thunderous Intentions 7h
The Oklahoma City Thunder are in a trading rut
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In Gibson, they get a veteran who had been a full-time starter for the first time in his career this season, his eighth in the league. In 55 games with Chicago, he had averaged 11.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game and had shot 52.1 percent from the floor.
He slots nicely into the 4 spot, moving rookie Domantas Sabonis to a reserve role, and helping Oklahoma City with its already strong plus-4.8 edge per game on the glass.
McDermott, meanwhile, has shot 37.6 percent from deep this season, down from last year’s 42.5 percent mark, but could work either off the bench or move into the starting 3 slot if coach Billy Donovan wants to replace the floor spacing lost by moving Sabonis to a reserve role.
Or if McDermott goes to the bench to keep Andre Roberson‘s defense with the first unit, McDermott creates the space Morrow was supposed to.
So OKC may go shopping for free agent point guards, while considerably strengthening their frontcourt for the stretch run in the process. In all, this was a solid deal for the Thunder.
The Chicago Bulls spent much of the last, oh, seven or eight months actively shopping third-year forward Nikola Mirotic.
So it makes perfect sense that on deadline day they traded third-year forward … Doug McDermott. Wait, what?
Their fanbase is a tad confused, too.
I’m still not sure how the Bulls managed to not trade Jimmy Butler and make their team worse at the same time but yeah #FireGarPax
— Mike Korzemba (@mikekorz) February 23, 2017
*bulls make trade deadline move* pic.twitter.com/hmB3iCX3zG
— Anthony Tenuta (@anthonyjtenuta) February 23, 2017
The only way this deal makes sense is that if Cameron Payne emerges from the pile of point guards the Bulls have already started this season (Rajon Rondo, Michael Carter-Williams, Jerian Grant) to take the reins of the offense.
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Otherwise, you’ve dealt your starter at the 4 and a rotation reserve on the wing for a point guard coming back from a broken foot (Payne), a three-point specialist shooting less than 30 percent from distance (Anthony Morrow) and a backup center (Joffrey Lauvergne).
Oh, and a second-round pick … next year.
In the 20 games he’s been back since breaking his foot last fall, Payne hasn’t exactly lit things up, shooting 33.1 percent overall and 30.8 percent from three-point range. Morrow has shot 38.7 percent overall and 29.4 percent from distance.
Lauvergne, already 25 and in his third season, was playing almost 15 minutes a game and shooting .455/.346/.638 as a backup to the backup center in OKC. He was acquired over the summer from the Denver Nuggets and figures to compete for playing time with Cristiano Felicio behind Robin Lopez.
Add this deal to a litany of moves that just don’t seem to make a lot of sense for either the short- or long-term for Chicago, a team that seems content to just spin its wheels with neither a plan to blow things up and start over nor aggressively build a contender.