Toronto Raptors trade for Orlando Magic PF Serge Ibaka
- Author: Julie Sanders Feb 15, 2017,
Feb 15, 2017, 10:14
With zero reason to believe Ibaka would spend the rest of his dwindling prime by re-signing with a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2012, admitting the mistake and attempting to reverse it was the best of Hennigan's bad options. The Raptors have used rookie Pascal Siakam, Bebe Nogueira, and Patrick Patterson at the position to mixed results.
Ibaka, 6-foot-10, 235 pounds, is averaging a career high-tying 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 30.5 minutes in 56 games (all starts) this season.
Another area Toronto has struggled is rebounding, ranked the 24th ranked rebounding team in the league, Ibaka's average of just over 7 boards a game will help Toronto. Sliding into an offense in desperate need of production at his position should give Ibaka plenty of chances to shine.
Ibaka's presence gives the Raptors a variety of options when it comes to rotation management. "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. It's a terrific move from Ujiri. That kind of offensive production will be very much welcome in Orlando, as the Magic are now second-to-last in the National Basketball Association with 99.9 points scored per game.
Really the one big concern about this trade is that the Magic essentially swapped Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Ersan Ilyasova for Terrance Ross and a first round pick. In recent days it became clear via media reports that Orlando was open to finding a new home for Ibaka.
However, more than anything else, it's what this trade represents, the message it sends to Toronto's coaches, players and fans that should have them all excited for the future. But the 26-year-old is painfully inconsistent, having the tendency to either take over a game or completely disappear.
The Ibaka deal, in the wake of the Plumlee deal, helps set the market for centers on a contract year.