Ibaka's a pending unrestricted free agent and the chances Orlando re-signed him were close to nil.
The Toronto Raptors are finally making a move at the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The acquisition of Ibaka represents the boldest move Ujiri has ever made in his time in charge of the Raptors. In exchange, Orlando now receives a first-round pick on top of the one it already possesses and a player under team control for the next two seasons at a bargain price.
Ibaka-to-Toronto is just what the doctor ordered for a Raptors team that is quickly fading from view as Eastern Conference contenders, and here five reasons why the marriage between the Raptors and Ibaka will be one of harmony and success.
- According to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical, the Orlando Magic have agreed to a trade that would send power forward Serge Ibaka to the Toronto Raptors for small forward Terrance Ross and a 2017 first round pick.
Even with some of the sheen having come off Ibaka since his peak in Oklahoma City, he is still a massive upgrade over what the Raptors have at power forward, particularly with Patrick Patterson out of the lineup. The 27-year-old forward brings rim protection, can stretch the floor, shoot the three, defend pick-and-roll situations, and is agile enough to switch on just about everything.
Love lost CLEVELAND - Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love will be out at least six weeks following knee surgery. It will also mean more workload for other players on the team, with LeBron James probably getting the bulk of it on his shoulders. If there ever was an opportunity for Toronto to make the Finals, it would be this year. Even Norman Powell would have been a better haul from Toronto. The second-year wing has shown tremendous promise as a three-and-D wing.
The logjam is now cleared and he will have an opportunity to prove his worth. He will obviously start alongside Jonas Valanciunas, but after that the team has tremendous versatility. General manager Rob Hennigan made the deal with OKC on draft night in hopes that Ibaka's defense and veteran leadership would help a team with a young core including Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Elfrid Payton. The Raptors plan on trying to re-sign Ibaka this offseason.