The Thunder and Sam Presti have done it again. Shortly before the trade deadline was reached, Oklahoma City is sending Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for a second round draft pick, Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott.
Cameron Payne, second year out of Murray State struggled last season and the 14th overall pick in the 2015 draft has yet to come on after being injured in the summer. Oklahoma City now has only two point guards to show for their roster. He’s averaging 5.3 points on 33 percent from the floor and only 30 percent from three. He had a lot of interest over the summer, primarily the Sacramento Kings. His foot injury nixed any opportunity for a trade.
Morrow was a beloved player who fell off the mountain. His shooting numbers plummeted and he’s really never really recovered. He’s shooting a career low 29.4 percent from three-point range. He’s averaging only 5.8 points per game, second lowest of his career.
Joffrey Lauvergne was acquired in training camp from Denver and he’s a stretch four who adamantly does not want to play the center position. He tries to shoot threes and struggles when he does. His defense leaves you guessing what he’s going to do as he makes unorthodox decisions that hurt his team.
Gibson who is only 31 years old, has been a staple in Chicago for many years. This season Gibson is averaging 11.6 points and seven rebounds on 52.6 percent shooting from the floor.
While Gibson will be a significant upgrade over the youth of Domantas Sabonis, he’s on an expiring contract this season. He’s making $9 million this season.
Fun fact about Gibson: He was originally drafted by Chicago in 2009 with the first round draft pick Oklahoma City sent to Chicago in exchange for Thabo Sefolosha.
McDermott was a three-time First-Team All-American at Creighton. He averaged 21.7 points in his four years as a Blue Jay.
McDermott is averaging a career high 10.2 points per game on 37.6 percent from deep, also a career high, and 44.5 percent from the floor. His 25 minutes a contest are also a career high.
While McDermott can shoot the lights out, his defense leaves little to be desired. His defensive rating of 113 rivals that of Anthony Morrow. In fact, their offensive and defensive ratings are almost identical.
He’s set to make $2.4 million this season and the Bulls already picked up his option for 2017-18, giving him $3.3 million next season. He’ll be a restricted free agent if no one can sign him by Halloween.
Oklahoma City also acquired a second round pick from Chicago in the upcoming draft. That’ll provide Oklahoma City with a few more assets. They also used some of their trade exception from acquiring Jerami Grant to finish off the deal.