So the Magic have flipped Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo into Brandon Jennings and Serge Ibaka in last year of deal. Meh.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) June 24, 2016
If that trade in itself wasn’t a little “head-scratching,” they made another strange signing in less than a month later adding center Bismack Biyombo to a 4-year/$74 million deal. An unproven player who had been labeled a bust until he broke out in the 2016 Eastern Conference Playoffs averaging almost 10 rebounds a game and providing rim protection for the Toronto Raptors.
With young star Aaron Gordon, who’s skill-set is more suited towards playing a lot of power forward he now has to play the small forward position. With Ibaka, Biyombo and center Nikola Vucevic, they simply do not have minutes at the power forward for Gordon to develop.
So now it seems the odd-man out is going to be Ibaka:
Serge Ibaka is being shopped by the Orlando Magic. (via @sn_nba)
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 31, 2017
It would be interesting to follow, as many contending-teams will take a look at the league’s two-time block leader (2012 and 2013). Not only can Ibaka provide rim protection and great overall team defense, he is also a respected offensive player, shooting 38.4 percent from three this season and 36.3 for his career per basketball-reference. Leadership and playoff experience are some intangibles that Ibaka brings to the table , as he has appeared in 89 playoff games, including a 2012 Finals apperance. Averaging 2.5 blocks a game and shooting 43 percent from three in the playoffs will make him coveted.
According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News the Magic have to take some lumps:
“It has not taken long for buyers’ remorse to kick in. League sources told Sporting News that the Magic have picked up their attempts to move Ibaka ahead of next month’s trade deadline, eager to ensure that they come away with some return for a player who does not figure to be in Orlando long. Ibaka will be a free agent this summer. There is no chance of a Biyombo trade, not after the Magic paid him $70 million for four years this offseason.
But the big concern for Orlando is that they will have mortgaged two young pieces for Ibaka with no benefit, not even a modest bump in the standings. There is virtually no chance he stays in Orlando beyond this season. Ibaka is likely to search out a team more ready to contend in the summer, and the Magic can’t afford to hand him a big contract, not with Gordon still needing to develop as a power forward.”