The Raptors have started at power forward this season:
You know the old saying: When you have six starting power forwards, you have none.
So, Toronto is trading for Serge Ibaka, who’s on an expiring contract.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Ibaka will upgrade the Raptors, who might need a shakeup. They’ve lost 10 of 14 to fall to fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto will rely on him to shore up its biggest area of concern: defense. At his best, Ibaka will protect the rim next to Jonas Valanciunas. But Ibaka has slipped considerably on that end. Is that due to playing on a team going nowhere or aging? That’s the big question with this trade.
At least Ibaka should fit well offensively as a jump-shooter next to the interior-focused Valanciunas.
The Magic mitigate their damages after giving up Victor Oladipo, the No. 11 pick and Ersan Ilyasova in a lousy trade for Ibaka last summer. Orlando clears some of its big-man logjam, and Ross adds needed help on the wing. The 26-year-old Ross is in the midst of a career year, and though his level is far more stellar than spectacular, he’s owed owed a reasonable $30.2 million over the next two years. Recouping a first-round pick always helps.
The only thing worse than their trade for Ibaka might have been the Magic signing the declining big man to a big contract this summer. That’s less of a concern for the Raptors, who are trying to win now.
Both on the court right now and with the teams’ long-term visions, Ibaka makes far more sense in Toronto than Orlando.