NBA Trade Rumors: Orlando's Serge Ibaka on Trading Block; Toronto, Miami, Houston Interested
The Orlando Magic has placed veteran power forward Serge Ibaka on the trading block and three teams are interested in acquiring the two-time former NBA blocks leader, according to the latest NBA trade rumors.
Ibaka, 27, was acquired by the Magic last summer in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he played his first seven seasons in the league. Orlando sent Victor Oladipo, Ersan İlyasova, and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis to Oklahoma City in exchange for the Congolese-Spanish big man.
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Ibaka has slightly increased his averages while playing for Magic head coach Frank Vogel as he is currently producing 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.6 blocks in 30.6 minutes per game in 53 games so far.
Last season, he averaged 12.6 points, 6.8 boards, 0.8 assists, and 1.9 blocks in 32.1 minutes per game for the Thunder. However, Orlando is reportedly trying to trade Ibaka before the Feb. 23 deadline as the team is currently third from the last place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 20-35 record. The team has lost eight of their last 10 games and seemed to be out of playoff contention and so the management said to have decided to go on rebuild mode.
With Ibaka's impressive performance this season, he has become one of the Magic's most valuable trade assets at the moment. CBS Sports reported that the Toronto Raptors are interested in trading for Ibaka as the Canadian club is looking for an upgrade at the power forward position. Toronto is presently rotating rookie Pascal Siakam, an ineffective Patrick Patterson, and an undersized Jared Sullinger in the spot.
Meanwhile, Fansided indicated that the Miami Heat are also planning to pursue Ibaka. With a 12-game winning streak, the Heat has suddenly become the buyers in this trading period instead of being the sellers as initial rumors have presumed.
Adding Ibaka to the Miami frontline would definitely be a huge help for Hassan Whiteside especially on the offensive end of the floor. Lastly, the Houston Rockets are also reportedly interested on Ibaka as the team is looking to add another stretch four that could complement well with James Harden's play.
Ibaka is shooting 38.5 percent from deep as of late, which is quite high for a player of his size. He has definitely improved his outside shooting this season, which made him a lot more valuable in the market.