What the Serge Ibaka Trade Means for the Magic and Raptors
- Author: Zachary Reyes Feb 16, 2017,
Feb 16, 2017, 0:53
Washington has been on fire, winning 14 of its last 16 games (with those two losses being a tip-in at the buzzer in Detroit and a loss in overtime to Cleveland when James hit a turnaround three-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation).
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. He is 27 years old, can be a defensive force and is basically a rental for the Raptors. This season they're sitting in 5th place heading into the All-Star break, trailing the Cavs, Celtics, Wizards and Hawks. However, Ross has been considered an enigma during his time in Toronto. Powell represents the first significant time a Raptors second round pick has worked out in the National Basketball Association.
Ibaka boasts a career average of around 12 points per game, despite playing in the same starting five as All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant for many years. That's not at all bad considering his $10 million salary, which is an arguable bargain for a player of his type in a league with a rising salary cap. The team has been in a slide over the past few weeks and have struggled mightily on the defensive end of the floor. Another advantage of this trade is that it now allows Aaron Gordon to move back to the power forward position. Ross certainly has the talent to provide some extra scoring from the wing if given extended minutes. Only Jodie Meeks is shooting better from 3-point range for the Magic.
All I can say is this, we can all start forming our opinions on who will replace Magic GM Rob Hennigan very soon.
Ibaka might not be the feared rim protector he once was (two years ago, opponents only shot 40.7% at the rim against him, a stellar mark), he still offers some solid resistance there and is a strong team defender. The pick will be the lesser of the Raptors or Los Angeles Clippers' first-rounder this season, per Wojnarowski.
Ibaka was born in Republic of the Congo but moved to Spain as a teen and has represented the latter country in global competition, including at the 2012 Olympics, at which he earned a silver medal.