The Orlando Magic traded fan favorite Victor Oladipo, Ehsan Ilyasova, and the 11th pick to Oklahoma City for Power Forward Serge Ibaka on draft night.
Yes, Magic fans are upset and yes, the talking heads around sports media say the Magic got robbed, but for the team, the trade makes total sense, especially if you’ve watched them play in the past few seasons.
The Magic have a hugs hole in their defense, a gap so wide my grandmother can glide right through it for a lay up. Imagine what LaBron did to them last year. The team is soft in the middle. No toughness in there, no shot blocking, and no intimidation. By acquiring Ibaka, the Magic will have one of the best defensive players in the league, a premiere shot blocker, and a fierce presence in the paint.
Oladipo was a high draft pick, but the Magic have to give up something to get something, so off he goes with a serviceable forward Ilyasova and the rights to this year’s 11th pick, Donatas Sabonis.
What’s key for magic fans to watch is what other moves they make because in losing Oladipo they do lose a team leader, and one of the most clutch players that they had on the squad.
Ibaka will provide the veteran leadership that the magic sorely needed, plus a solid three point shot, something the squad needs. We’ll see what Hannigan has up his sleeve in the next few weeks for free agency.