The Orlando Magic have agreed to trade Serge Ibaka to the Toronto Raptors, according to sources close to News 6 sports director David Pingalore.
The Raptors sit four games behind the Celtics for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and are now fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors, who were in Chicago on Tuesday to play the Bulls, have lost 10 of their last 14 games. He is averaging 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 3-pointers in 54 games this season. Ibaka will be looked upon to do little scoring as his main focus will be rebounding and shot blocking, a skill that very few in the league can say they do better.
Ibaka will be a free-agent this summer, so making a move to get a player or asset back now makes sense instead of letting him walk in free agency. Another advantage of this trade is that it now allows Aaron Gordon to move back to the power forward position. Ross's current deal, signed in 2015, is worth $31.5 million over three years and took effect this season. At 27 and with knee surgery in his past, Ibaka's statistical slippage is concerning, but he's only missed one game this season and Toronto will be able to test-drive him before they buy.
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.
In a vacuum, the trade was a win for both sides. The Raptors don't necessarily have the shooting to replace him, but they do have a rotation-ready wing in the form of Norman Powell who has steadily made a case for greater playing time.
Still, the Raptors make out like bandits in this deal. Ross is a much tougher pill to swallow, as he remains a productive bench piece on a very affordable deal with two more years left on it beyond this season. What this move does for the Raptors is provide them with the inside presence they so desperately needed since the departure of Bismack Biyombo last offseason.