NBA Rumor: Serge Ibaka Free Agency

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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.

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.

Lakers targeting Serge Ibaka?

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.”

“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.

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.

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.
5 years ago via ESPN

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.

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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