OKC sending Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow, w/ CHI sending '18 second-round pick with McDermott and Gibson, sources tell @TheVertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2017
Following the trend of last year’s last-minute trade on the day of the Trade Deadline, the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow to the Bulls for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 2nd-round pick. Payne has been involved in a lot of trade rumors since before the regular season started, but his injury halted all talks. Since his return, he has not been all that productive, but many see him as a high-potential player who simply needs some time to grow. Lauvergne and Morrow have fluctuated in minutes and output on the court throughout the season, so it is not surprising that they have been included in a deal that looks to be solid for both sides.
In Taj Gibson’s 8th NBA season with the Bulls the 6’9″ forward has started all 55 games that he has played with the Bulls this season, and in 27.3 minutes per game he is averaging 11.6 points while shooting 52.1% from the field and 71.4% from the free throw line to go along with 7.0 rebounds per game. Gibson should have an immediate impact on the Thunder’s game plan as he will likely start at power forward as Domantas Sabonis continues to grow as a rookie.
Doug McDermott is in his 3rd NBA season, all with the Bulls, and the 6’8″ forward is having his best year yet. In 24.5 minutes per game, he is averaging 10.2 points while shooting 44.5% from the field, 37.3% from the three, and 88.1% from the free throw line to go along with 3.0 rebounds per game. Adding McDermott is a potentially immediate solution to the Thunder’s inability to effectively space the floor as he is a talented three-point shooter, an area where Oklahoma City has fallen short consistently this season.
While team chemistry is extremely challenging to predict, both Gibson and McDermott should mesh well in Oklahoma City, filling in holes that the Thunder have desperately needed to plug since the start of the season. Oklahoma City adding a 2018 2nd-round draft pick is also a nice addition to the package. It will likely take at least a couple of weeks to see how good the trade makes the Thunder, but without a doubt, the immediate impact should be positive.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.