NBA Rumor: Serge Ibaka Trade?

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3 years ago via TSN

If Ujiri is looking to make a significant change to his roster, particularly in the starting lineup, a frontcourt shakeup is more likely. Even after a season and a half, the Raptors are not sold on the Ibaka-Valanciunas pairing, according to team sources, believing both are better suited playing centre at this stage of their careers. If it simply came down to preference, Toronto would gladly move on from Ibaka following his inconsistent 2017-18 season and disappointing playoff performance. However, finding a trade partner willing to absorb the $44.9 million he’s owed over the next two seasons would almost certainly require them to take back a bad contract, or cost them additional assets – picks or young players, something Ujiri may be reluctant to do after parting with a first and second-rounder to unload ’s contract a year ago.

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.

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have acquired forward-centre Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward-guard Terrence Ross and a future first-round draft pick. “Our organization is excited to add a player of this caliber to our team as we strive to reach the next level,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “Serge Ibaka brings valuable postseason experience and elevates our talent level in many different areas. We thank Terrence for his dedication and service to the Raptors organization. He is a wonderful young man who has helped our team grow the last few seasons.”

“It’s been a challenge because what the league has done over the last few years has been dramatic in terms of the style of play and the sophisticated offenses that you are seeing now,’’ Magic coach Frank Vogel said of his team’s struggles in trying to adapt to 3-point-heavy, “small-ball’’ lineups. “You see the offensive numbers just sky-rocketing league-wide. I don’t think anyone in the Eastern Conference has a defensive rating under 102 (points per 100 possessions). That just wasn’t that way a year or two years ago and it’s largely about the spread lineups that you are seeing. So it has been tough to play two bigs,’’ Vogel continued. “That’s why we went to putting (Biyombo) solely as the back-up center.’’

The Raptors will send guard/forward Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick to the Magic, league sources said. Toronto owns two first-round picks in the draft – including the Clippers’ pick – and will send Orlando the lesser in value of the two choices, league sources said. Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri has long been intrigued with Ibaka, and made the deal with the expectation that the Raptors will be aggressive in working to re-sign Ibaka this summer, league sources said.

But Toronto has played hardball when it comes to acquiring power forward help. Caboclo does not figure to be part of any trade discussions, as he has been a project the team wants to complete itself. A source also said that Toronto has also long resisted the idea of trading sixth man Terrence Ross. The Raptors have been loath to mortgage the future entirely for players such as Gallinari, Gibson or Ibaka, all of whom can be free agents next summer (Gallinari has a player option worth $16 million, and could opt in for that final season).
5 years ago via ESPN

Rockets interested in Serge Ibaka

There is also some interest in Orlando power forward Serge Ibaka, who is apparently is on the trade block. Ibaka scored 28 points in 40 minutes in the Magic’s loss at Houston on Tuesday night. Ibaka would bring a defensive presence and another shooter that could fit into Mike D’Antoni’s offense. In late December when the Rockets lost starting center Clint Capela to a fractured fibula, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Houston entertained acquiring Sacramento center Kosta Koufos.

There was talk recently about Ibaka heading to the Raptors, but the more that situation has been talked about it seems less likely that Toronto will give up meaningful assets for the Magic’s would-be free agent. Sources close to the situation labeled the Raptors as a favorable situation for Ibaka long-term, but it’s unclear if he’d give assurances of re-signing there. Ibaka does share the same agent as Raptors star Kyle Lowry, so that is an easy answer to obtain.

Ibaka never demanded a trade, league sources told The Vertical, and he put together a productive season (12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds) while sharing the frontcourt rotation with the emerging Steven Adams and a slightly more reliable Enes Kanter. But the Thunder are proactive; the possibility of them losing an asset for nothing is unsettling.

Last season, Ibaka believed it could. In the months after Oklahoma City hired coach Billy Donovan, Ibaka formed a strong bond with the incoming coach, league sources told The Vertical, and entered the season believing he would have an expanded role in the offense. He didn’t. “There was an expectation of a larger role,” Ibaka’s agent, Andy Miller, told The Vertical. “It was overpromised and under-delivered. Everyone should be held to the same level of accountability across the board.”

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 19, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
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Storyline: Ekpe Udoh Injury