ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic were looking to get a proven veteran and a rim protector this offseason and they came out with both in Thursday night's NBA draft .
Orlando selected Gonzaga sophomore Domanta Sabonis with the 11th overall pick then immediately traded his rights to the Oklahoma City Thunder for veteran shot-blocker Serge Ibaka. The Magic announced the deal hours after Sabonis said during an ESPN interview that he was heading to OKC. Also in the proposed trade, the Thunder will receive guard Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova in addition to the rights to Sabonis.
"Serge (Ibaka) is a young veteran who brings tremendous athleticism and toughness to our frontcourt," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said in a released statement. "His tireless work ethic and wealth of playoff experience will help enhance our culture and roster. We thank Victor (Oladipo) for all of his contributions both on the court and in the community. We wish him and Ersan (Ilyasova) the best of luck in the future."
The landing of Ibaka gives the Magic a proven shot blocker and a player who has experience going deep into the playoffs. Ibaka, a power forward, has been a key part of the Thunder teams that regularly qualify for the playoffs and played the Golden State Warriors to Game 7 in this season's Western Conference Finals.
Orlando is coming off a 35-47 season in which they missed the postseason for the fourth straight year. Hennigan has said the team was a proven veteran away from making the postseason. They're hoping Ibaka — who averaged 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season — is that missing piece.
Also, the move seems to open up a logjam the Magic had on the wing where restricted free agent Evan Fournier and rookie Mario Hezonja are vying for time. Oladipo was the Magic's No. 2 overall pick in 2013 but has been up and down during his first three seasons.
The Magic also took UNLV 7-foot freshman center Stephen Zimmerman with the 41st pick in the second round. Orlando also has the 47th overall selection.