Toronto Raptors / Orland Magic Trade…
Looks like the Toronto Raptors finally make a trade for that starting power forward position they’ve been needing for almost two seasons. Raptors trade Terrence Ross and a 2017 first round draft pick (they have two this year), to the Orlando Magic for Serge Ibaka.
Orlando acquired Ibaka hoping to make a splash this season, however things didn’t quite work out the way they had hoped. The front court is full of forwards and centers and weak at the guard and wing positions. They opted to make the trade so they don’t lose Ibaka in the summer to free agency. They also fill a need by acquiring a guard/forward.
Toronto has been inquiring about Ibaka for the better part of two seasons and were close on a deal during last years’ trade deadline and again in the off season. Looks like they finally got their man. While he becomes a free agent this summer, Toronto holds his ‘Bird Rights’ meaning they can sign him to a longer and more lucrative contract than any other Team. It also helps that he and Kyle Lowry share the same agent (KLOW also becomes a free agent this summer). I don’t think they make this trade without the sense they can resign both players in the off season.
While the Raptors lose an energy player in Terrence Ross, someone who attacks the rim and has range from the three-point line, one has to give up something to get something. In this case, Toronto loses a bench player to gain a starter.
Starting line up for the Raptors now looks like this:
PG Lowry (1)
SG DeRozan (2)
SF Carroll (3)
PF Ibaka (4)
C Valanciunas (5)
With Ibaka at the ‘four’ this gives the Raptors another scoring threat. He’s a stretch forward which allows them to spread the offence between Lowry and DeRozan. This also helps free up Valanciunas on the inside game. If at the end of games they want to play “small” Ibaka can play the ‘five.’ This will allow them to show opposing teams different line-ups during games.
I still think the Raptors need one more move in order to properly compete with the rest of the East and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Maybe call Denver about Danilo Gallinari or Wilson Chandler?
Regardless, even if another transaction is not made, kudos to Raptors management for getting the Ibaka deal done. Great move!!
*(Photo Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)