Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic Agree to a Serge Ibaka Trade

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

As the NBA trade deadline draws nearer, the Toronto Raptors have landed one of the biggest names said to be available in a swap: Orlando Magic big man Serge Ibaka.

In exchange for the eight-year veteran, the Magic will receive wing Terrence Ross and the worst of Toronto's two first-round picks this offseason (they hold the rights to the Los Angeles Clippers' pick).

The move couldn't have come at a more urgent time. Toronto finds itself immersed in a 4-10 skid that's seen them fall from second in the Eastern Conference to fifth.

In Ibaka, Toronto gets a player that complements low-post-scoring center Jonas Valanciunas with his shot-blocking and shooting. The big man who reached the 2012 NBA Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder can also slide to center to unlock a terrifying offensive lineup, in which the dynamic backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan is surrounded by three shooters—Ibaka, Patrick Patterson, and Norman Powell—that should also excel on defense.

Toronto plans to re-sign the free-agent-to-be in the offseason.

In a vacuum, the trade was a win for both sides.

Orlando was able to turn a guy on an expiring contract—who will likely be incredibly expensive to keep—for a first-round draft pick, albeit a late one, and a much-needed shooter in Ross on a respectable deal for the next two seasons ($10.5 million per year; Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe just got $72 million over four years to do basically the same things).

But as fair as the haul might be, the move also highlights what a risk it was for the Magic to trade for Ibaka in the first place this past summer.

Essentially, they traded Victor Oladipo and the 11th overall pick (Domantas Sabonis) for Ross and a pick that will be in the late-20s this offseason.

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