This was probably the biggest trade on an uneventful NBA trade deadline day. The Chicago Bulls sent power forward Taj Gibson, small forward Doug McDermott, and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for point guard Cameron Payne, power forward Joffrey Lauvergne, and shooting guard Anthony Morrow.
The Bulls realized that they might not be able to re-sign Taj Gibson in free agency which is why they wanted to get rid of him now. That part of the trade makes complete sense, but getting rid of McDermott and a 2nd round pick won’t help the Bulls that much in the future. The Bulls gave up a lot to acquire McDermott in the first place and it is strange that they are giving up on him after only 2 1/2 years. Meanwhile, Chicago at least received some decent talent in return. Cameron Payne is a former 1st round pick that never got much of a chance to be a starting point guard in Oklahoma City as he was stuck behind Russell Westbrook on the depth chart. Payne should get some more playing time with Chicago and hopefully the Bulls can develop him into a quality starting point guard or else this could be a very bad trade. Joffrey Lauvergne was an average role player with the Thunder, but he will probably end up seeing his minutes decrease with the Bulls. Anthony Morrow is specifically a 3-point shooter and he likely won’t see much playing time with the Bulls as well. This trade is very bold for the Bulls because they are trading away two quality players for Cameron Payne who they are hoping can improve and become their point guard of the future. We’ll see how this trade ends up in the future, but I’m not too optimistic that this will turn out well for Chicago.
Cameron Payne never got a chance to play much with the Thunder and that probably wasn’t going to change anytime soon as long as Russell Westbrook stays in Oklahoma City. Also, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow were given an opportunity to be key role players for the Thunder, but they both never provided much for the team. Meanwhile, Taj Gibson is going to be a free agent this summer, but he should make a big impact for Oklahoma City right away. Doug McDermott still has some potential as a good shooter and he should at least be a decent role player for the Thunder the next few seasons. The 2nd round pick in 2018 could end up helping as well for Oklahoma City. Giving up Payne probably wasn’t easy to do for Oklahoma City, but it was the right decision since he wouldn’t have been able to reach his full potential with the Thunder anyway. This trade won’t make a huge impact for Oklahoma City, but it certainly helps their team immediately and for the future.