Bulls nearing trade sending Doug McDermott, Taj Gibson to Thunder
Feb 25, 2017, 00:09
The move was made prior to the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline and will give McDermott another opportunity to make moves in the Association.
The Dallas Mavericks acquired Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut, and a protected first-round draft pick this year. In return, they received a marksman in Doug McDermott who will surely help the Oklahoma City Thunder in their shooting woes and Taj Gibson who is a beast and a defensive specialist in the paint. His eFG was nearly 58 percent, and on average, he'd produce 10.7 points in around 24 minutes per game (if those numbers sound familiar, it's because they are almost exactly McDermott's from this season). In eight seasons with the Bulls, he averaged 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.
After sitting for six weeks to heal, Payne resumed backup duties for the Thunder leading up to last week's NBA All-Star Break - with OKC (32-25) just three games behind Utah for the Northwest lead in the Western Conference.
So why did the Bulls trade McDermott and Gibson and a second-round pick for Payne?
After trading away Gibson, Forman addressed concerns about the team's apparent lack of direction and rumors of disharmony within the front office, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. Lauvergne has his charms and could fit in with what the Bulls hoped would be Fred Hoiberg's movement-heavy offense, while Anthony Morrow will hit long range shots and (weirdly) rebound if given minutes. It is certainly tough to see Gibson go, but he is a free agent this off season. In terms of three-point shooting, the Thunder ranks 29th out of 30 teams in the league.
Chicago Bulls forward/center Bobby Portis will start at power forward Friday night versus the Phoenix Suns.
Fred Katz is the Thunder beat writer for the Norman Transcript and CNHI Oklahoma as well as the host of the Locked on Thunder podcast. Like Payne, Morrow has yet to make a stamp on this season. Payne was picked 14th in the 2015 draft and has struggled in his first two years in the league.
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