The Orlando Magic have acquired forward-center Serge Ibaka from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo, forward Ersan Ilyasova and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis (#11 overall), General Manager Rob Hennigan announced tonight.

“Serge (Ibaka) is a young veteran who brings tremendous athleticism and toughness to our frontcourt,” said Hennigan. “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.”

Ibaka (6’10”, 235, 9/18/89) played and started in 78 games with Oklahoma City last season, averaging 12.6 ppg., 6.8 rpg. and a team-high 1.90 blkpg. in 32.1 minpg. He ranked sixth in the NBA in blocked shots scored in double figures 62 times and had 20+ points six times, including a season-high 25 points on Jan. 4 vs. Sacramento. Ibaka had nine double-doubles, led (or tied) the team in rebounding 14 times and had 10+ rebounds 12 times, including a season-high 20 rebounds on Feb. 27 vs. Golden State. He also appeared and started in all 18 playoff outings, averaging 12.0 ppg., 6.3 rpg. and a team-high 1.33 blkpg. in 33.5 minpg., while shooting .521 (85-163) from the floor and a team-best .449 (31-69) from three-point range.

Originally selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft by Seattle (which moved to Oklahoma City), Ibaka has played in 524 career NBA regular season games (413 starts), all with Oklahoma City, averaging 11.6 ppg., 7.4 rpg. and 2.48 blkpg. in 28.8 minpg., while shooting .523 (2,558-4888) from the floor. He has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team three times (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14) and is one of only two players in NBA history to lead the league in total blocked shots for four consecutive seasons (2010-14), joining Dikembe Mutombo. Ibaka has also appeared in 89 career playoff contests, averaging 10.9 ppg., 6.7 rpg. and 2.49 blkpg. in 31.0 minpg., while shooting .513 (402-784) from the floor.

Oladipo (6’4”, 210, 5/4/92) appeared in 72 games (52 starts) with Orlando last season, averaging 16.0 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 3.9 apg. and a team-high 1.61 stlpg. in a team-high 33.0 minpg., while shooting .830 (205-247) from the free throw line. Originally selected in the first round (second overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft by Orlando, he has played in 224 career NBA regular season games (167 starts), all with the Magic, averaging 15.9 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 4.0 apg. and 1.63 stlpg. in 33.2 minpg. Oladipo was named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Ilyasova (6’10”, 235, 5/15/87) played in 74 games (56 starts) with both Detroit and Orlando last season, averaging 10.4 ppg. and 5.4 rpg. in 25.4 minpg., while shooting .371 (96-259) from three-point range. He was acquired by the Magic, along with Brandon Jennings, in exchange for Tobias Harris on Feb. 16, 2016. Originally selected in the second round (36th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft by Milwaukee, Ilyasova has appeared in 527 career NBA regular season games (313 starts) with Milwaukee, Detroit and Orlando, averaging 10.6 ppg., 6.0 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 24.1 minpg., while shooting .370 (524-1,416) from three-point range. He has also played in 17 career playoff outings, averaging 9.8 ppg. and 6.2 rpg. in 24.5 minpg.

Thunder trading Serge Ibaka to Magic

It’s 2016 Draft night, and the biggest news, other than the Sixers making the expected first-overall pick of Ben Simmons, is that the Thunder, who came within one win of reaching the 2016 NBA Finals, are trading power forward Serge Ibaka to the Magic. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Thunder trading Serge Ibaka to Magic

In a draft night bombshell, the Thunder traded Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to first round draft pick Domantas Sabonis, sources confirmed to The Oklahoman…

In dealing Ibaka, the Thunder let go of one of its core members and its long-time defensive anchor. In Oladipo, the Thunder adds a versatile 24-year-old shooting guard who can both score and defend.

Willy Hernangomez plans to join Knicks

The Knicks are going to add some international talent to their frontcourt this offseason. Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting:

Spanish center Willy Hernangomez plans to join the New York Knicks on a multiyear contract this summer, his agent, Andy Miller, told The Vertical.

“It is my intent to reach an agreement with the Knicks and have Willy come to New York for next season and beyond,” Miller told The Vertical.

The Knicks hold the rights to Hernangomez, who was the 35th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

No Team USA for Kawhi Leonard this summer

No Team USA for Kawhi Leonard this summer

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard today announced that he has withdrawn his name from consideration for the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

“This was a very difficult decision. It’s an honor to have been considered for the team and I hope that in the future I will have the chance to represent my country by playing for USA Basketball.”

Leonard, the 2015 and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, was a 2016 All-NBA First Team selection. In his first All-Star season, the fifth-year forward averaged a career-high 21.2 points to go along with 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.78 steals in 33.1 minutes while shooting .506 (551-1,090) from the floor, a personal-best .443 (129-291) from beyond the arc and .874 (292-334) from the free throw line.

Report: Nets trade Thaddeus Young to Pacers

Report: Nets trading Thaddeus Young to Pacers

The Nets finished last season with a 21-61 record, the third worst in the league, ahead of only the Lakers and Sixers. A Brooklyn rebuild is clearly in order, which is difficult when a team has traded lots of first round draft picks away. But they have reportedly taken a step in the rebuild direction today, as reported by Woj/Yahoo Sports:

Brooklyn has traded forward Thad Young to the Indiana Pacers for the 20th pick and a future 2nd rounder, league sources tell @TheVertical.

Young, a power forward, averaged 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game last season and now gets to play alongside star Paul George.

Both the Nets and Pacers could make more moves soon. It’ll be interesting to see if the Nets deal center Brook Lopez, who is their best-remaining commodity.

The core of the Hornets backcourt this past season was Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. Jeremy Lin, however, played fairly big minutes (26.3 mins/game) but was paid like a guy who sits close to the end of the bench. It isn’t a surprise that he’s seeking a new contract. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Jeremy Lin reportedly declines contract option

Facing a Wednesday deadline, Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin declined to opt in on a $2.2 million player option for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, league sources say.

Lin, who turns 28 in August, averaged 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3 assists over 26.3 minutes per game in his only season with the Hornets. He signed a two-year, $4.3 million contract with Charlotte last July, but the contract contained an early termination option that Lin triggered to explore free agency.

Report: Sixers want No. 3 pick from Celtics

The 2016 Draft is tonight, and rumors will be flying around like crazy all evening. We’ll share the most interesting stories, and we especially like stories that tell a bigger tale even if the deal doesn’t happen — like what a team’s goals may be and what they hope to accomplish. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

The Philadelphia 76ers are increasing their efforts to acquire the No. 3 pick from the Boston Celtics in Thursday night’s NBA draft, league sources tell ESPN.

Numerous rivals described the 76ers as the most active team in circulation, with a trade involving Nerlens Noel looking more and more likely.

Expect Cavs to re-sign LeBron James

LeBron James returned to the Cavs, reached the Finals, and then this year won Finals MVP and a championship for Cleveland. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest on the future between him and the squad:

Expect Cavs to re-sign LeBron James

LeBron James stands to make less money on a one-year contract re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers than he could earn by going to the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks or Miami Heat.

It’s an example of the “unintended consequences” that commissioner Adam Silver has discussed of the salary-cap jump coming to the NBA ahead of the 2016-17 season.

James removed doubt about his intentions on Wednesday when he told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, “I love it here in Cleveland. I have no intentions of leaving. There are some technicalities to take care of I’ll leave up to my agent. That’s right from the horse’s mouth.”

Those technicalities include perhaps leaving $3 million on the table if he wants what is his now-customary one-year contract plus a player option with the Cavs, as he’s signed the past two summers.

Knicks get Derrick Rose

Finals Game 7 was Sunday, the Draft is tomorrow, and you think that would be enough to keep fans busy, yet there are also some big trades dropping: the Knicks got Derrick Rose today, in trade from the Bulls.

Can D-Rose stay healthy? Will he regain his quickness and dominance of the past? And will he mesh with Carmelo Anthony, who tends to hang onto the ball for a while? And will Rose help make young Kristaps Porzingis better?

We already have something to look forward to next season. Fun stuff.

For full trade details, click here: Bulls trade Derrick Rose to Knicks

Darrick Martin named head coach of Reno Bighorns

The Reno Bighorns today named Darrick Martin as the team’s new head coach, according to General Manager Peja Stojakovic.

Martin, 45, joins the Bighorns after spending the 2015-16 season as a radio analysist for the UCLA Men’s Basketball broadcast. Prior to starting his career in the booth, Martin spent three seasons as an assistant coach at St. John’s University, where he served under Steve Lavin.

A 13-year NBA veteran that appeared in 514 games, Martin began his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves (1994-95, 2003-04) before joining the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), Los Angeles Clippers (1996-99, 2004-05), Sacramento Kings (1999-01), Dallas Mavericks (2001-02) and the Toronto Raptors (2004-08). Martin joined the Minnesota Timberwolves as an assistant coach and player development specialist at the conclusion of his playing career.

Report: Hawks trading Jeff Teague to Pacers

The Hawks have one point guard too many, and were expected to trade one this offseason. This is now materializing, with Jeff Teague reportedly being sent to the Pacers. Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting:

The Indiana Pacers have acquired Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team trade than sends George Hill to the Utah Jazz, the IndyStar has confirmed.

The rest of the deal has the Jazz sending their No. 12 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft to Atlanta, according to Yahoo reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the trade.

And the Deseret News reports:

The move will give the Jazz a steadying influence at point guard while Dante Exum reacclimates himself to the NBA game after missing all of last season because of a torn ACL.

LeBron James free agency update

LeBron James returned to the Cavs two seasons ago, helped take the team to the 2015 NBA Finals, and returned there in 2016 to win the championship. He can choose to enter free agency this July, and will likely do so, but only to re-sign with the Cavs for more money. That’s been the expectation, and today Cleveland.com provides additional reason to believe that’s what will take place, as reported below:

LeBron James free agency update

“I love it here. I love being here. I love my teammates,” James told cleveland.com, moments before he boarded a float at The Q for the Cavs’ championship parade through downtown Cleveland. “Obviously my agent will take care of all the logistical things but, I’m happy. I’ve got no plans to go nowhere at this point.”

James, 31, can become a free agent if he decides not to exercise the one-year, $24 million player’s option in his contract. He will all but certainly decline the option on June 29 so he can get a raise from the Cavs — he can make upwards of $30 million next season under a new contract.

Five of the leading 2016 NBA Draft prospects — Brandon Ingram, Jaylen Brown, Jamal Murray, Dragan Bender and Kris Dunn — have signed with adidas. They will play a collaborative and instrumental role in driving performance insights to create new footwear and apparel. They will also be featured in upcoming brand campaigns, activations and global tours.

“For my family and I, joining adidas is truly something special,” said Brandon Ingram. “The chemistry with adidas felt right. Every day I’m working hard at developing my game and they can help me do that on a new level. I’m always looking ahead, trying to find a chance to do something different on and off the court. adidas allows me to create and that’s something I can’t do anywhere else. The best is yet to come.”

“Our playbook is simple – partner with the best players and use their insights to change the game and connect with young athletes,” said Chris Grancio, general manager, adidas global basketball. “It’s no secret that at adidas players have a voice to share ideas and insights that will create the best basketball gear in the world. We’re proud to welcome them to our family and we look forward to getting started.”

Bucks sign coach Jason Kidd to contract extension

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed head coach Jason Kidd to a contract extension, the team announced today. The agreement will keep Kidd in his position with the Bucks organization through the 2019-20 season.

“Our goal remains to be a consistent contender for NBA Championships and we believe that Jason Kidd is the right man for the job,” said Bucks co-owner Wes Edens. “In terms of preparing, developing and relating to today’s players, we think there is no better fit to lead our young and talented roster. We are excited that Jason will continue to call Milwaukee his home.”

“I truly believe that continuity is extremely important in our business, so I’m very happy for Jason and the Bucks organization to continue the partnership we have,” said General Manager John Hammond. “Jason and his staff work tirelessly to help our players grow and develop and I look forward to working with them to build our roster into a consistent contender.”

Kidd was hired by the Bucks on July 1, 2014, and helped lead the Bucks to a 41-41 record and the 6th seed in the 2015 Eastern Conference Playoffs in his first season in Milwaukee. In his three seasons as an NBA head coach, Kidd has posted a 118-128 (.479) record, including a 44-38 (.537) mark in his initial NBA head coaching campaign with the Brooklyn Nets in 2013-14.

“I greatly appreciate the confidence that our owners have placed in me by signing me to this extension,” said Kidd. “We have a hard-working group of coaches that want to teach our young players and help them reach their full potential. We still have work to do but we’re committed to the goal of building a team that consistently competes for titles.”

“I’m excited that my family and I will continue to make our home in Milwaukee,” Kidd continued. “We appreciate the terrific support we’ve received and look forward to many great years moving forward.”

Before becoming a head coach, Kidd enjoyed an exceptional 19-year NBA playing career, which included 10 All-Star Game appearances and an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. He was named to the All-NBA First Team five times, All-NBA Second Team once, to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team four times and All-Defensive Second Team five times. Kidd also won gold medals with Team USA in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The second overall pick of the Dallas Mavericks in the 1994 NBA Draft, Kidd shared Co-Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill. He played in 1,391 regular season games with Dallas, Phoenix, New Jersey and New York. His teams qualified for the postseason 17 times, and he played in 158 playoff games, including three trips to the NBA Finals (2002, 2003 – New Jersey; 2011 – Dallas).

Amazing LeBron James 2016 NBA Finals stats

By Jeff Lenchiner

LeBron James stats in 2016 NBA Finals

The Cavaliers beat the Warriors in seven games to win the 2016 NBA championship. Here’s what Cavs star LeBron James averaged in the Finals series:

29.7 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 8.9 apg, 2.6 spg, 2.3 bpg, on 49% shooting.

That’s… insane.

Those are video game numbers.

Those are the type of stats your buddy in the park makes up, as a joke, about some rec league he allegedly dominated that you happen to have never heard of.

Except, they’re real, and they accurately represent what LeBron accomplished in the NBA Finals, against a team that had just won more regular season games than any team in the history of the NBA.

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving was excellent in the Finals too of course, averaging 27.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apg and 2.1 spg, shooting 47% and hitting 40.5% from three-point range. He will never average a ton of assists in the current makeup of the Cavs team. But he produced, and often stepped up when the team seemed to be in an offensive lull. He did his job.

Third in scoring for the new champs was shooting guard J.R. Smith at 10.6 ppg (40% FG, 36% threes), then Tristan Thompson at 10.3 ppg and 10.1 rpg.

Kevin Love was quiet in the Finals, averaging 8.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg in 26.3 minutes per outing.

Back to those LeBron 2016 NBA Finals stats: have fun trying to come up with proper adjectives to describe just how awesome they are. And after you do that, just stare at them for a while, because they don’t happen often.

Richard Jefferson is retiring. Maybe.

The Cavaliers beat the Warriors in Game 7 last night to win the 2016 NBA championship. Veteran small forward Richard Jefferson emerged as a big-time contributor to the Cavs. And now, will RJ hang up his sneakers? Probably. But not definitely. ESPN.com reports:

Richard Jefferson is retiring. Maybe.

“I am retiring. I am retiring,” he told Fox Sports Ohio as he celebrated.

Later, in an interview on NBA TV, Jefferson said: “My teammates keep trying to talk me out of it, and I’m like guys, this has been the most stressful month of my life. I was like, ‘I don’t know.’”

Jefferson then told ESPN of retirement: “Maybe. If you ask me now, yes. But we’ll see.”

Definition of Warriors season

The NBA playoffs are down to one game. NBA Finals Game 7 is Sunday night at Golden State. And for some key Warriors players, a Game 7 loss would define the entire season as a failure. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Definition of Warriors season

After nearly nine months reaping the benefits of unity, being of one mindset, the Warriors are, in at least one regard, splintering as they approach Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

A loss would slap the term “failure” on this season, say guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

“Yeah, pretty much, because that was our goal from the beginning,” Curry said Saturday, on the eve of Game 7, echoing comments Thompson made two days earlier.

A loss would not define the season as a failure, says coach Steve Kerr, who took mild umbrage that someone would frame such a question.

Dante Exum will not play for Team Australia this summer

Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum will not participate in Australian National Team activities this summer.

Exum will instead focus on his preparation for the 2016-17 Jazz season. His rehabilitation and recovery process has continued to progress accordingly according to the team, and he was recently cleared for full-contact basketball activities.

“At this stage the most important thing for me right now is to continue training,” said Exum. “It’s been great to be back on the court competing, and I’m really motivated to help the Jazz have a successful season this year. My support and best wishes will be with the Boomers this summer, and I look forward to future opportunities to represent my home country.”

The 20-year-old guard underwent successful surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee on Sept. 3, 2015, after having sustained a tear of the ACL on Aug. 4 while competing for the Australian National Team in a game against the Slovenian National Team in Ljubljana, Slovenia. As a result of the injury, he missed the entire 2015-16 NBA season.

The 6-6, 205-pound native of Melbourne, Australia, averaged 4.8 points, 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes as a rookie during the 2014-15 season and was selected to compete in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend. He also became just the 10th rookie in Jazz history to appear in all 82 games, starting 41 of those. Exum was originally selected by the Jazz in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Buddy Hield works out for Lakers

The 2016 Draft is approaching, and one prospect worth keeping an eye on is 6-4, 214-pound senior Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield. Here’s ESPN LA reporting:

Buddy Hield wasn’t satisfied with his shooting performance during his private workout for the Los Angeles Lakers at their practice facility in El Segundo, California, on Saturday, so he asked for another try. And then another one.

During his last go-round, which was in front of a contingent of media, Hield started off hot before missing consecutive shots. He began yelling to pump himself up, saying, “C’mon Buddy Fresh!”

After the pep talk, Hield went on a shooting streak, exhibiting the elite stroke that made the Lakers bring him in for a second workout and has them considering him with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday.

When asked how “Buddy Fresh” inspired the uptick in shooting, Hield revealed his on-court alter ego.

“It’s my own nickname. It’s my alter ego,” Hield said.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra buys new house

Here’s the Miami Herald with some off-court reporting:

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra buys new house

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who’s getting married to a former Heat dancer in July, has already upgraded his living quarters from his bachelor’s condo.

Spo, 45, just plunked down $2.6 million for a historic house in Coconut Grove, according to property records. He is set to get hitched to former cheerleader Nikki Sapp July 1…

Unlike his players, who often pay cash for their houses, Spoelstra got a mortgage just like the rest of us shleppers. Naples-based Florida Community Bank gave Spo a $1.95 million mortgage.

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