Serge Ibaka was slated to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but the Toronto Raptors are trying to prevent the power forward from hitting the open market.
Most in NBA circles believe that Ibaka made it clear to the Magic the only team he wanted to land with was Toronto, and it’s likely why other teams in the hunt for him passed on giving big assets.
League sources said that a new deal for Ibaka is basically done and that it will start in the $20 million range. It’s possible someone surfaces on July 1 with a better offer, but given Ibaka’s age and rocky season in Orlando, that seems unlikely.
Ibaka, 27, was acquired in a mid-season trade from the Orlando Magic. He averaged 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 23 regular-season games with Toronto, and averaged similar numbers in the postseason.
After getting swept in the Eastern Conference semifinals by Cleveland and struggling in the first round of the playoffs against Milwaukee, it became pretty clear that the Raptors weren’t ready to contend for a championship this season, but they might be in the near future, especially if they’re successful in re-signing key free agents such as Ibaka. If this deal is in fact done, then Toronto can move onto trying to re-sign Kyle Lowry.