Magic deal Serge Ibaka to Raptors for Terrence Ross, first-round pick

Feb 16, 2017, 00:59
Magic deal Serge Ibaka to Raptors for Terrence Ross, first-round pick

After weeks of speculation, the Orlando Magic have reportedly traded Serge Ibaka to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Terrance Ross and a first-round draft pick in this year's draft. Orlando surrendered guard Victor Oladipo and the 11th overall pick in the draft, which the Thunder used to select forward Donatas Sabonis.

Ross' status was elevated early on in his career thanks to a dunk contest victory as a rookie and a 50-point explosion in his second season, but he's never expanded his game. He is also averaging 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

The Raptors, who have dropped to 5th in the East standings, needed to make a move.

Ross has proven himself as a good three-point shooter which he believes can be his major contribution to the Magic. Of all power forwards that have played at least 20 minutes per game and have attempted at least one 3 point attempt per game, Ibaka ranks 3rd in 3 point percentage as well. The Magic are not in a great position in the Eastern Conference at the moment, and they had a problem at the Power Forward/Center position with Ibaka, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo all vying for playing time. Ibaka will join a team that is only six games out of the top seed in the East but carries a huge chip on their shoulder from a year ago. The 27-year-old banger is expected to opt out and test National Basketball Association free agency this Summer - meaning Toronto stands to lose him just the same. A hot start to this year got some thinking Ross made the leap toward being a legit plus contributor.

Woj further reports that general manager Masai Ujiri intends on re-signing Ibaka when he hits free agency this offseason. Ross is in the second season of a three-year, $30-million contact.

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Orlando ultimately landed Ross, a more proven but older player with less upside, instead.

"In welcoming Terrence to the Magic family, we have addressed a need by adding athleticism, shooting and scoring ability to our developing, young core, while also making our roster more versatile, " Hennigan said in a statement.

The first-round pick that the Magic receive will be the lower pick of Toronto's two first rounders (their own and one from the Los Angeles Clippers).

The Raptors occupy fourth place in the Eastern Conference and the move is seen to be part of their beef-up for the postseason wars.