Orlando has agreed to trade Serge Ibaka to Toronto for Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round pick, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 14, 2017
#WojBomb. I absolutely love this move. One, because I’m a Raptors fan and the power forward position before this trade was a barren wasteland. And two, because they really aren’t giving up much for a possibly huge return. Terrence Ross has become expendable with the emergence of Norm Powell. They have the Clippers’ first round pick as well so whichever pick is higher will end up being the one Orlando gets in the trade.
The Raptors tried trading for Ibaka when he was on the Thunder before the draft last year but the Thunder rejected the offer of Cory Joseph, Patrick Patterson and the No. 9 pick in the draft. They now get him for a much cheaper price with the opportunity to re-sign him when he becomes a free agent after the season. As if there wasn’t more to love about this as a Raptors fan, they also get Ibaka’s bird rights which allows them to offer more than any team that wants to court him.
Ibaka fills a huge need for the Raptors at the four. They weren’t going to advance far in the East playing Pascal Siakam and Lucas Nogueira huge minutes and while Patrick Patterson helps the Raptors on the floor, they are terrible with him off the floor. Ibaka fills that role. They also can play him at the five with second unit if needed in case Jonas Valanciunas gets in foul trouble or isn’t playing great.
Getting Serge Ibaka doesn’t catapult the Raptors into title contenders overnight. What it does do, put the team in a better position to take down the Cavaliers while also setting them up to be in that position for the next couple of years.