Raptors acquire Serge Ibaka from Magic for Ross, 1st-round pick

The Raptors have been reeling recently and may be more desperate than then to actually make a deal.

At best, Ross is an occasionally serviceable bench player for a good team, but one who has bad efficiency written all over him with an increase in touches.

Ibaka is in the a year ago of a contract that pays him $12.25 million this season, and he becomes an unrestricted free agent in June. This could shake things up in the East a little bit. Jennings left for nothing to sign a deal with the New York Knicks the following summer. The Celtics are not interested in surrendering assets of value, including first-round picks and prospects like Rozier, for short-term acquisitions that do not clearly put them over the top for title contention, per sources.

"Orlando is finalizing a trade to send Serge Ibaka to Toronto, league sources tell @TheVertical", Wojnarowski tweets. The draft pick doesn't count as salary in the trade.

As the National Basketball Association trade deadline draws nearer, the Toronto Raptors have landed one of the biggest names said to be available in a swap: Orlando Magic big man Serge Ibaka.

Ibaka is a diverse big man who cannot only protect the rim and haul in rebounds but who can also step outside and drain big shots in crunch time. It will also be interesting to see how head coach Frank Vogel juggles the lineup with Ross. The Magic had a gifted scorer in Nikola Vucevic already sopping up playing time in the Magic frontcourt. Even if they don't make another move, the Raptors have made a heavy splash here, and they've improved their talent base and roster balance without sacrificing too much in terms of near-term production.

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It has not worked all season.

The 27-year-old Ibaka is averaging a career high 15.1 points per game this year and is shooting 38.8 percent from behind the three-point arc.

Ibaka will be a free agent this summer. In fact, I'm not sure if the Heat aren't somewhat retarding Tyler Johnson's growth when they play him as the primary ballhander.

Really the one big concern about this trade is that the Magic essentially swapped Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Ersan Ilyasova for Terrance Ross and a first round pick.

Ibaka made three-straight all-defensive first teams from 2012-14 while with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he has taken a step back this season with the Magic. Impending free agency cooled market. As a small forward, the Magic could elect to play him at small forward and move Aaron Gordon back to power forward. Toronto has collected a stockpile of young assets - Norman Powell, Bruno Caboclo, Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are all 23 or younger - and the Raptors hold their own first-round draft pick, plus the Clippers' pick, this season.

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