Magic Doges Free Agency Scare and Trades Ibaka to the Raptors
By Brandon Simmons
Less than year of trading for him on draft night, the Orlando Magic have decided to trade away power forward Serge Ibaka to the Toronto Raptors for guard Terrence Ross. Ibaka is being sent to a bonafide playoff contender and away from his tenure as a member of the Magic.
Last season, the Magic traded for Ibaka on draft night by giving up guard Victor Oladipo and their 11th overall draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Ibaka played for the first 7 seasons of his career. The trade may have worked out for Thunder, in which Oladipo’s 16 ppg may have helped the team to stay within playoff picture in a competitive Western conference; but the same could not be said for the Magic and what Ibaka is experiencing.
Ibaka is averaging a career high 15.1 ppg but not surrounded by enough talent to put them as contenders in a perceivably weak Eastern Conference. That could bring plenty of concerns, including – according to Yahoo Sports – whether or not Ibaka resigns with the Magic this Summer. As for Ross, his role off the bench might not have been enough to push the Raptor from their current spot at 5th in the conference but perhaps he could serve as a viable piece for the Magic moving forward.
This is pretty big trade so far but hopefully there will be at least one more blockbuster deal to hit the table before the season is over. Ibaka seems to to still have some juice in him that will make him an impact on whatever team he lands. It’s only right that he gets on a squad such as the Raptors, who are number 5 in the East, but could probably move up a couple of spots to the 3 or 2 spot and make a return trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
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