Bulls Trade Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott to OKC Thunder

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 10: Taj Gibson (22) of Chicago Bulls in action during the NBA match between Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls on December 10, 2016 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bilgin S. amaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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The Chicago Bulls have traded forwards Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, along with their 2018 second-round pick, to the Oklahoma City Thunder for guard Cameron Payne, swingman Anthony Morrow, and forward Joffrey Lauvergne. Shams Charania of The Vertical broke the news Thursday afternoon, and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst added the detail of Payne’s involvement in the trade:

Bulls Trade Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott to OKC

Gibson is in the final year of his contract with the Bulls. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season. The Bulls signed Gibson to his four-year, $33 million deal back in October 2012. The following season, Gibson went on to be runner-up for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, losing out to three-time winner Jamal Crawford.

Gibson, a seven-year NBA veteran, can provide the Thunder with strong play in the paint. Whether he starts or comes off the bench behind Domantas Sabonis, Gibson is a quality addition to OKC. McDermott, on the other hand, is just 25 years old, and he’ll provide the Thunder with some much-needed perimeter shooting. He may slide right into OKC’s starting lineup, alongside Andre Roberson on the wing.

Gibson is averaging about 12 points and over seven rebounds per game this season. He’s also shooting over 52 percent from the field and over 70 percent from the free throw line. McDermott is averaging a career-high of 10.2 points per game in his third NBA season, connecting on nearly 38 percent of his three-pointers.

From the Bulls perspective, the team adds a couple of veterans in Morrow and Lauvergne. However, neither has played many minutes or made much of an impact off the bench in Oklahoma City this year. Payne is the real key to the deal for Chicago, as he has shown promise as a floor general at just 22 years old.


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