NBA rumors: Serge Ibaka agrees to contract with Clippers, not Warriors

Ali Thanawalla
·2 min read

Reported Ibaka-Clippers agreement a double blow for Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Serge Ibaka was on a plane Friday, likely heading to his next NBA destination.

It turns out the former Toronto Raptors forward wasn't on his way to the Bay.

Ibaka has agreed to a two-year, $19 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday night. The second year of the contract is a player option, Wojnarowski reported.

The Athletic's Shams Charania was first to report the agreement between Ibaka and the Clippers.

Warriors fans (and legend Rick Barry) had yearned for Ibaka to join their squad. Instead, he joined one of the teams Golden State will battle for Western Conference playoff seeding.

If the Warriors in fact had any shot at Ibaka, then this is a double whammy of bad news.

The Warriors' lack of assets at the moment likely hurt them in any pursuit of Ibaka. After reportedly using their $17.2 million Traded-Player Exception to acquire Kelly Oubre Jr., Golden State only has the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception and minimum contracts, neither of which was enough to match the Clippers' offer to Ibaka.

If the Warriors already had the Disabled Player Exception at their disposal, they might have had a shot. But they only would have been able to offer him one year at roughly $9.3 million. Only Ibaka knows if that offer could have swayed him away from a reunion with Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles.

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Ibaka always was going to be a tough player for the Warriors to land. Now, they have to face him multiple times per season. And the Clippers, who lost NBA Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, got better with this move.

With Ibaka off the board, the Warriors might turn their attention to his former Toronto teammate, Marc Gasol. But Wojnarowski reported the Raptors are trying to re-sign the veteran center, so Warriors general manager Bob Myers might miss out on both players.

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