By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Not only did the Magic send pick no. 11, Lithuanian Domantas Sabonis to the Thunder, but they also gave them Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova, in order to bolster their frontline with the Spanish international center.
“Serge is a young veteran who brings tremendous athleticism and toughness to our frontcourt,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. “His tireless work ethic and wealth of playoff experience will help enhance our culture and roster. We thank Victor for all of his contributions both on the court and in the community. We wish him and Ersan the best of luck in the future”.
“The defense we played at Indiana that we hope to bring here to Orlando is predicated on having a guy like Serge Ibaka that can protect the rim and be that lead shot-blocker,” said coach Frank Vogel, who joined the Magic last month after his contract with the Pacers was not renewed. “The way the NBA is going, defensive versatility is huge”.
Another European player was also caught up in the “trade craziness”. Italian Marco Belinelli was shipped to the Charlotte Hornets, by the Sacramento Kings, in exchange for the 22th Draft Pick, through which the latter selected shooting guard Malachi Richardson.
The acquisition of Belinelli could indicate the Hornets won’t try to re-sign shooting guard Courtney Lee, who the team acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies at the trade deadline. Lee might command an annual salary of $10 million or more per season this summer.
The Hornets hope to re-sign Nic Batum and start him at shooting guard alongside small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Belinelli is more in line with the salary for a backup guard.
Meanwhile, it seems that Ricky Rubio will not continue in the Minnesota Timberwolves. Something that was kinda expected, after coach Tom Thibodeau’s arrival in the team.