NBA rumors: Serge Ibaka exercises player option for 2021-22

Shams Charania: Clippers F/C Serge Ibaka is exercising his $9.7 million player option for the 2021-22 season, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.

More on Serge Ibaka Free Agency

Tomer Azarly: "We want them back as Clippers. We respect that they have a choice to make. With Kawhi, we hope to have a very long-term relationship with him... We'd like to bring Reggie, Nico back. We hope Serge opts in. We have other FA as well." Lawrence Frank on free agency.
The Nets tried to add Ibaka to that roster with the $5.7 million taxpayer mid-level exception and showed interest in 6-foot-5 wing Kent Bazemore before he landed in Golden State. But adding Jeff Green on a one-year minimum deal is a cost-effective alternative to Ibaka as a stretch big. Could Nicolas Batum be a fallback plan for Bazemore?
The Raptors offered Ibaka a one-year, $12 million deal to return, league sources told HoopsHype. According to our HoopsHype salary cap expert, Yossi Gozlan, the Raptors likely focused on that $12 million figure for Ibaka because then they could’ve used the mid-level exception and remained right under the tax.
Ibaka agreed to a two-year, $19 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, per reports, and will reunite with former Toronto Raptors teammates Kawhi Leonard. Ibaka has a player option for the second season. The Raptors offered Ibaka a one-year, $12 million deal to return, league sources told HoopsHype.
Bobby Marks: Serge Ibaka contract is for the full $9.25M midlevel exception. The Clippers are now hard capped- $3.4M below the apron but with 2 non-guaranteed contracts (Joakim Noah $2.7M and Justin Patton $1.8M) that could lessen the burden. The Clippers have 11 guaranteed contracts.
Marc Stein: The Clippers have joined the race for free-agent big men Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, league sources say Gasol is considered the more realistic target given the fierce competition for Ibaka headed by Toronto and Brooklyn
Adrian Wojnarowski: Among contenders in both conferences, an aggressive early pursuit to lure free agent Serge Ibaka out of Toronto, sources tell ESPN. Of course, the Raptors have strong interest in keep him too.
Serge Ibaka: On my way to... pic.twitter.com/fNVpzmQhTQ

http://twitter.com/sergeibaka/status/1329895124902563850
As Forbes’ Mike Mazzeo notes and SNY sources can confirm, prominent members of the Nets organization would like to see the club sign free agent Serge Ibaka. Ibaka is close with Kevin Durant, and he’d be an incredible addition for a club with title aspirations. But can Brooklyn afford Ibaka? It seems highly unlikely that he’ll sign for the tax-payer exception ($5.7 million per year). Ibaka made $23 million dollars last season.
And so while he awaits the beginning of free agency—he couldn’t yet say where he expects to be playing next season, but emphasized how much he’s enjoyed his three seasons in Toronto—Ibaka is launching his first fashion collaboration with the Canadian company Nobis. The nine-piece capsule, which will be available starting November 19, includes some of the brand’s familiar, technically minded outerwear, but is sprinkled throughout with the idiosyncratic touches that Ibaka described as the heart of how he gets dressed.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Toronto Raptors big man Serge Ibaka & Brooklyn Nets have strong mutual interests per source.
So for their aggressive path, we have them now using their MLE to add another piece to their starting lineup in Ibaka. With Davis preferring to play the 4 full time, a frontcourt of Ibaka and Davis would have scary potential thanks to the former’s floor-spacing, rim-protecting expertise and the latter’s all-world capabilities. If the Lakers go conservative from here on out, they can still re-sign Cousins and Caldwell-Pope while trying to land Matthews on a vet minimum deal. There are already reports out there that Los Angeles is planning to do just that, using Matthews as a replacement for Green, so this wouldn’t be far-fetched whatsoever.
The Houston Rockets have interest in signing Serge Ibaka in free agency, according to Tim MacMahon on the Brian Windhorst podcast. Ibaka would give the Rockets a rim protector who could also maintain their space on offense.
Durant and Ibaka forged a strong relationship while playing together in Oklahoma City. But the veteran Ibaka, who made $23.3 million last season, would have to take a significant discount to join the Nets.
No matter what happens for the Lakers in the days after the upcoming NBA draft, when the league will begin its free-agency period, they will likely try to lure multiple veterans seeking to play for a contender to L.A., offering a chance at a championship but unable to offer a sizable payout as the team sits over the salary cap already. One target is Raptors big man Serge Ibaka, according to executives around the league.
Golden State legend Rick Barry likes the idea of the eight-time NBA All-Star joining Golden State, but there is a certain pending free agent the Hall of Famer wants to see in a Warriors uniform next season. "The guy that I'd like to see them get -- it would be unbelievable -- I love Serge Ibaka," Barry said Thursday morning on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "He can shoot the 3, he can rebound, block shots. That would be a heckuva addition to this team."
Matthew: You heard it from the man himself folks, @sergeibaka says he's ready to stay and re-sign with the @Raptors! #WeTheNorth (🎥: HollywoodUnlocked)
"I'm going to stay, bro." Ibaka said. "This place is beautiful. ... It's a beautiful city, beautiful people here and then we have one of the best teams. Why leave?" It's safe to say the current contract has worked out quite well for both sides. Ibaka is currently averaging a career-best 16.0 points and 8.3 rebounds while playing 27.5 minutes per night. He's ingrained himself on a roster that's among the best in the Eastern Conference and was close to locking up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern playoffs before the NBA suspended play due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have re-signed free-agent forwardcentre Serge Ibaka (Surge ee-BAK-ah) to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Mike Fisher: #Mavs liked Ibaka. Termed idea 'a long shot.' Of course, they were right. twitter.com/wojespn/status…
Alex Kennedy: With the Eastern Conference seemingly getting weaker, rival executives currently believe Toronto may re-sign Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.
Mike Fisher: BREAKING: #Mavs plan admitted 'long-shot' FA reach-out to #Raptors Serge Ibaka, DallasBasketball.com has learned. #NBAFreeAgency pic.twitter.com/M5Akc4DdZs
But Ibaka long has held a fascination for the Heat because of an offensive game that takes opposing defenders to the perimeter, and a defensive game capable of deterrence at the rim. Ibaka was dealt from the Orlando Magic to the Toronto Raptors at midseason, with the Raptors allowed to exceed the salary cap to re-sign Ibaka because of the Bird Rights that accompanied him in his trades from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Magic and then to the Raptors.
Zach Lowe: "As uncomfortable as it is to say that, the league, not the league office, teams believe that (Serge Ibaka) is older than his listed age. Whether he is or not, and what are the ethical issues of saying that, I don't know, but it affects the free agency market for him."
Brian Windhorst: Two teams in the last year have said 'You know what? We're not so sure about Serge, we're gonna move on from him.' And yet it wouldn't surprise me if Serge Ibaka is earning more money next year than Kevin Love.
Apparently Sergie Ibaka was too tired to go - which made Terrence Ross unable to play. Despite Ross coming in early, getting film & shots. It was a little obvious Ibaka did not bond with his Magic teammates but hearing guys had real issues with him and happy to see the change. Heard that Serge really struggled with how Magic young guys wanted to play & he just never bought in belief is he'll fit better with Raptors. While his pending free agency was a factor it was not the biggest factor in the decison - attitude, expected role, age played biggest role.
Josh Lewenberg: Ujiri on trying to re-sign Ibaka this summer: "I think it's extremely important. It's really important that we're able to do that"
Orlando, according to league sources, remains focused on acquiring a proven scorer on the wing before the Feb. 23 trade deadline if the ever-elusive right deal presents itself. ‎The corresponding expectation in league circles is that the Magic will try to move a big man to make that happen, with Nikola Vucevic continuing to rank as the most likely of Orlando's bigs to depart because Serge Ibaka is headed for free agency in July (which complicates trading him) and with Bismack Biyombo only in the first year of a four-year, $68 million deal bound to put some teams off.
In fact, if the team stumbles out of the gate and/or Ibaka isn’t contributing as advertised, the Magic would even have to consider listening to trade offers for him at the deadline. This scenario has to be in the back of Hennigan’s mind anyway, for no other reason than you don’t want Ibaka walking away without compensation. His contract situation will frame the season. The Magic absolutely have gambled on Ibaka, who can become one of the more desirable free agents this summer. The club believed Serge when he told them he was genuinely interested in re-signing with them before they acquired him on draft day.
Ibaka, 27, is due to earn $12.3 million during the upcoming season, and he likely will command a significant raise in free agency. “I’m not really worried about my contract year or my long-term,” Ibaka said.
Ibaka bristled about his lack of touches in Oklahoma City and for the past year has been sending signals he might leave in free agency, sources have told ESPN.com. Goran Dragic and his camp agitated in the same way as the Suns imploded during the final year of Dragic's deal; the Heat swooped in and nabbed the guard for two first-round picks and zero relevant players.
For a team that won 55 games and finished one win shy of the NBA Finals, it was a stunningly significant shakeup. Ibaka, 26, had been a key component of the Thunder's core for seven years alongside Durant and Russell Westbrook. But Ibaka had grown unhappy with his role, a person familiar with the situation told CBS Sports, and was considered likely to leave as an unrestricted free agent in 2017. Though Ibaka had not requested a trade, it was reasonable to expect that such a request could be on the horizon.
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September 27, 2021 | 10:23 am EDT Update