NBA Trade Rumors: Raptors Acquire Serge Ibaka in Deal with Magic
The Toronto Raptors have acquired power forward Serge Ibaka in a trade with the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. Toronto sent sixth man Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick in exchange for the two-time NBA shot blocks leader.
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Ibaka, 27, was traded to the Magic last summer from the Oklahoma City Thunder in return for Victor Oladipo, Ersan İlyasova, and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis, who was the 11th pick in last year's draft.
His averages have actually increased to 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game with Orlando, but the Florida outfit is reportedly having doubts that they can re-sign him when he enters free-agency this summer.
Ibaka is in the final year of his four-year, $49.4 million contract he got with the Thunder and is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Sporting News noted that the Magic "didn't feel like they could keep Ibaka once he became a free agent" and so they opted to shop him to interested teams in the trade period.
The Congolese-Spanish big man was linked to several teams in the past few weeks, including the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets, but the Raptors proved to be the winner in the Ibaka sweepstakes.
Toronto had to give up their best off-the-bench scorer in Ross, plus what will be the lower one of their two first-rounders this summer, to complete the deal, Oregon Live reported. Ross has just signed a new three-year, $31.5 million deal with the Raptors last summer, which means that the Magic can keep him for the duration of his contract.
The 26-year-old Ross is in his sixth season with Toronto since the team drafted him eighth overall in the 2012 draft. He has become a key player in the Raptors second unit and is a reliable scorer especially when considering his minutes.
Ross is averaging 10.4 points, 2.6 boards, 1.0 steals, and 0.8 assists in only 22.4 minutes per game in 54 games with the Raptors this season.