Following seemingly every major event in the NBA, pundits put out their list of grades to say how they felt as though teams did. From big names, to small names, people share their opinions on how each and every team did, whether we like it or not.
For the Orlando Magic, their reactions to their moves on during the 2016 NBA draft have been mixed. Some believe the moves will pay off in the short- and long-term's, while others believe the Magic gave up way too much in acquiring Serge Ibaka from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
To recap the Magic's night....
In: Ibaka, Stephen Zimmerman, $1.2 million cash considerations, 2019 second round pick (Via Portland)
Out: Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis, Jake Layman
Fox Sports's Aaron Torres, and CBS Sports' James Herbert both gave the Magic a "B" grade for the work they did on the night. ESPN's draft guru Chad Ford was the only other national media member to grade the Magic higher than a "C" giving the team a "B-" for their work. Ford had this to say about the Magic's night.
Landing Serge Ibaka would normally be considered a coup. But the price was very high for the Magic -- Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova.
It also costs them in another way. With Ibaka on the roster, he's likely to take away minutes from promising forward Aaron Gordon.
Ibaka fills a huge need. He can both stretch the floor and protect the rim and should be a great fit next to Nikola Vucevic. However, I wonder if the Magic became too impatient to top out as just a playoff team.
Zimmerman was good value in the second round. He has talent as a sort of stretch-5, but uneven play as a freshman at UNLV combined with some moderate injury concerns caused him to fall in the draft.
CBS Sports' Sam Vecenie gave the Magic a C+ overall for their efforts, despite saying he believed the Oklahoma City Thunder "won" the trade. Vecenie says he believes the Magic did good in finding a player who will fit well next to Nikola Vucevic, but questioned the Magic's asset management due to the fact they gave up, potentially, five years of control on Victor Oladipo and up to eight years on Domantas Sabonis.
After Vecenie, the grades get gradually worse for the Magic. Sports Illustrated's Andrew Sharp Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal gave the Magic a "C-" for their acquisitions of Ibaka and Zimmerman. Sharp was perplexed by the fact the Magic, in his estimation, traded their best player for someone to mask Vucevic's deficiencies, rather than keeping Sabonis to replace him.
By far the worst grade came from Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie blog. Dwyer brought the hammer down on the Magic, giving them a "D" for their efforts. Dwyer had this to say about the deal.
It’s possible that Oladipo was rife with bad habits after three frustrating seasons with the Magic, as most are still uncertain about his game as he makes his way toward his second NBA contract. Still, Serge Ibaka has been on the decline for two years, his block percentage in 2015-16 was less than half of what it was during OKC’s run to the Finals in 2012, and his rebound rate has shrunk to almost unacceptable levels.
Perhaps a change of scenery will help for Ibaka, who turns 27 in September. Three players – three potential starters – for this guy, though?
Overall, the reactions were a mixed bag for the Magic. Some loved the moves they made, while others hated them.
As it is with everything, only time will tell if the Magic, and everyone else across the league, made the right decisions.