Toronto Raptors acquire Serge Ibaka in exchange for Terrence Ross

With the National Basketball Association trade deadline nearing, the Magic and Raptors have pulled off a deal that involves Serge Ibaka. The Raptors were able to reach the Eastern Conference Finals previous year when they eventually fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

John Wall, averaging a career-high 23 points and 10 assists, is on pace to become an All-NBA Player.

He leaves Orlando after the side suffered a torrid run of three wins from ten games, with the Magic sitting only above the Brooklyn Nets as they find themselves 14th in the Eastern Conference.

Ibaka's average of almost 15.1 points per game, is higher than any Raptor outside of DeRozan and Lowry.

Looking at the big picture, tip your cap to the Raptors' front office.

The Magic get a player in Ross who is in his fifth season in the National Basketball Association and could flourish in a bigger role depending on how the Magic utilize him.

But more important than everything else, Ibaka's departure opens up space for Aaron Gordon to operate as a small-ball four.

Ross has proven himself as a good three-point shooter which he believes can be his major contribution to the Magic. Toronto also attached a 1st round pick to the deal, but their pick likely won't be extremely valuable as it is likely to fall in the 20's in the draft order.

Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel said Ross passed his physical Wednesday and was set to make his debut against San Antonio, but Serge Ibaka had not completed his physical in Toronto prior to tipoff Wednesday night. Ibaka will instantly be able to step in and give them solid production in a position where they've needed help all season long.

With the trade deadline approaching, teams fighting for positioning, like the Raptors, will look to address needs. After winning their fourth game in a row on January 17, they have since posted the fourth-worst record in the league at 4-10.

Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri has always 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. If that's true, the Raps clearly come out ahead, at least in the short term.

In the long-term, this could just be a rental deal if this team implodes, which seems unlikely. Other players like Nikola Vucevic and Jeff Green could be dealt as well before the National Basketball Association trade deadline on February 23, according to CSN.

  • Julie Sanders