As the NBA trade deadline approaches, teams are already ready to deal. A few days ago I reported that the Toronto Raptors could be the team most interested in Magic big man Serge Ibaka and today Orlando and Toronto completed a trade.
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Raptors will send guard/forward Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick to the Magic in exchange for Serge Ibaka. Toronto owns two first-round picks in the draft, which includes the Los Angeles Clippers draft pick. Toronto will send Orlando the lesser in value of the two draft choices per the report.
Toronto had interest in Ibaka while he was still with the Oklahoma City Thunder but the Raptors deemed the asking price as “too high”. Orlando gambled and traded for Ibaka, hoping they could get him to commit long term. With no indication or assurances from Ibaka that he would re-sign this offseason, when he is scheduled to hit free agency, the Magic made him available.
Although Ibaka’s looming free agency could have turned interested teams away, the Raptors feel they can interest Ibaka to stay in Toronto for years to come, especially with the nucleus of talent they have on their roster, which includes Kyle Lowry who is also scheduled to hit free agency this summer.
So far this season, Ibaka is averaging 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 56 games with Orlando.