The Oklahoma City Thunder gave Russell Westbrook a little more help minutes before Thursday’s trade deadline, adding forwards Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott from the Chicago Bulls for guards Cameron Payne and Anthony Morrow and forward Joffrey Lauvergne, according to multiple reports.
Confirming others: Bulls trade McDermott, Gibson and possible '18 2nd round pick to Thunder for Lauvergne, Payne and Morrow.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 23, 2017
Sources: OKC and Chicago are nearing agreement on a trade to send package centered on Cameron Payne for Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2017
Gibson was averaging 11.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in 27.3 minutes with the Bulls this season. It’s unclear whether the Thunder will start him in place of rookie Domantas Sabonis at power forward or bring him off the bench, a role he has filled for much of his time in Chicago.
McDermott has started just eight games in his career after being drafted 11th overall in 2014. He was averaging a career-high 10.2 points this season while shooting 37 percent from deep. His ability to stretch the floor is something the Thunder have lacked this season, ranking second to last in the league shooting 32 percent from deep this season as a team.
Payne has struggled to earn playing time since being taken 14th overall in 2015, playing just 13.2 minutes per game and averaging 5.1 points in his brief career. Morrow, who will be playing for his seventh team, has been a consistent threat from deep during his career, hitting 42 percent of his 3s.
Westbrook has almost singlehandedly powered the Thunder this season, averaging a triple-double while guiding Oklahoma City to the seventh spot in the Western Conference.