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In a move to fortify their roster for a playoff run and beyond, the Toronto Raptors reached agreement to acquire Orlando Magic forward Serge Ibaka, league sources told The Vertical.
The Raptors will send guard/forward Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick to the Magic, league sources said. Toronto owns two first-round picks in the draft – including the Clippers’ pick – and will send Orlando the lesser in value of the two choices, league sources said.
Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri has long been intrigued with Ibaka, and made the deal with the expectation that the Raptors will be aggressive in working to re-sign Ibaka this summer, league sources said.
Ibaka, 27, will join Toronto guard Kyle Lowry as high-profile Raptors free agents this summer.
For the Magic, the Ibaka trade represented a gamble on the costly draft night trade that brought him from Oklahoma City. Orlando surrendered guard Victor Oladipo and the 11th overall pick in the draft, which the Thunder used to select forward Donatas Sabonis.
Ibaka’s looming free agency in July became a stumbling block for the Magic, who had no assurances that Ibaka would re-sign with the team, league sources said.
Toronto had talks with Oklahoma City during draft time last year, but the asking price for Ibaka was significantly higher in June. Eight months later, the Raptors made a deal without cutting into their core players and still keeping a place in the loaded 2017 NBA draft.
Ibaka can offer a floor-spacing jolt on Toronto’s frontline offensively and, perhaps more importantly, is an experienced and accomplished playoff rebounder and defender. Ibaka was a three-time All-NBA defensive first-team selection in Oklahoma City, and Raptors coach Dwane Casey will push Ibaka to recapture that form.
Ibaka, drafted 24th overall in 2008, averaged 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 56 games with Orlando. In eight seasons, he’s averaged 11.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.
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