What the Serge Ibaka Trade Means for the Magic and Raptors

Serge Ibaka played just 56 games for Orlando

The Toronto Raptors, flexed their trade muscles by acquiring Orlando's Serge Ibaka in a deal involving Terrence Ross, as reported Tuesday. They gave up the No. 11 pick (Domantas Sabonis), Victor Oladpio and Ersan Ilyasova during last year's draft to land Ibaka.

In the 2016-2017 season, Ibaka played 56 games for Orlando and averaged 15.1 points per game to go along with 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. However, the Raptors are said to have every intention of re-signing Ibaka this summer, so, again, unless this team implodes, I think we'll see Ibaka here for the long-term.

He's a multi-dimensional player able to contribute on the offensive end but his real value is at the other end where the Raptors have been lost for most of the year. Plus, moving either Valanciunas or Carroll opens up a need in the rotation that will be incredibly hard to fill through free agency and paying that replacement reduces the savings created by the transaction, at least in the short term. Love is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds for the defending National Basketball Association champions, who are in Minnesota to play their second-to-last game before the All-Star break. He is in the final year of his contract and will become a free agent in July.

The Magic's hope was that they could rotate big men Nikola Vucevic, Bismack Biyombo and Ibaka into their lineup this season and still hold up defensively against the growing National Basketball Association trend of "small ball". The Raptors defensive woes weren't going away because they didn't have that one piece, that one guy that relished contact and actually sought it out. Ross is a player coveted around the league for his streaky three-point shooting. And how well did Orlando mitigate its losses by making this trade? As a small forward, the Magic could elect to play him at small forward and move Aaron Gordon back to power forward.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey has said all season long that the something is defence.

That is the best geographic metaphor to frame Ibaka's move from the slumping Orlando Magic to the Toronto Raptors.

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