There’s been some scuttlebutt around Serge Ibaka and the Raptors. Do you think the Raptors should trade for him? Who are you giving up?
Chris: I love what Serge Ibaka could bring to the Raptors. He’s an athletic big who would immediately improve their pick-and-roll defence and he could also execute the high pick-and-pop with Kyle Lowry or DeRozan. Like Paul Millsap, though, the question comes down to cost?
Ibaka is set to become a free agent this offseason and since Orlando gave up a boatload to acquire him, and has the cap space to offer him a monster deal this summer, I doubt he would be cheap to acquire. If the cost is right, say Terrence Ross and both first round picks, I would love to see the Raptors acquire Ibaka.
Demar: I enjoy the idea of Ibaka on the Raptors, but I don’t think they should trade for him. Ibaka’s contract ends after this year and although he’s only making $12 million this year, he will surely demand more before he signs on the dotted line during the offseason. Trading away assets for what can be a rental of a role player doesn’t sound so appetizing when Millsap was just briefly on the table.
Keep in mind the Serge protector is posting career lows in all categories the Raps require excelling in: rebounds and blocked shots. His athleticism has noticeably declined this year and last and he’s not going to bounce back — the human body doesn’t work that way. Ibaka is a great complementary piece to an established roster which is why he worked with the Thunder so well. He screens, catches lobs and can shoot it from mid and deep.
All that’s fantastic, but the Raptors already have players who can do that and they’re a top five offense. The defence needs to be shored up and I remain unconvinced Ibaka can do that for the Raptors. On paper the Magic should be a defensive juggernaut, but it’s a bottom-10 defence in the NBA.