Toronto Raptors: Top-five power-forwards in franchise history

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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors- Serge Ibaka (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

2 Serge Ibaka:

It’s difficult to judge the Raptor legacy of Serge Ibaka while he’s still playing for the team, but for now, he sits securely as the second-best power-forward the Raptors have ever had.  In terms of raw talent and skill, you could make a compelling argument that he deserves to be number one.

The Raptors acquired Ibaka midway through the 2016-17 season through a trade that sent Terrence Ross to the Orlando Magic.  Raptors fans rejoiced, because Ibaka’s defensive presence, efficient offensive skill, and playoff experience instantly made the team better, and gave Jonas Valanciunas an elite frontcourt partner.

Those same Raptors fans, who have become a rather spoiled group recently, are now quick to criticize Ibaka for his tendency to have games wherein he contributes far less than his averages would suggest.

Although Ibaka’s defensive numbers aren’t as impressive as they were when he played in Oklahoma City, he’s still one of the best power-forwards in the Eastern Conference, and the numbers back it up.

During his two seasons in Toronto he’s averaging 13 points and seven rebounds, and is still an effective shot blocker and versatile defender.  Offensively, he’s become a very important weapon for the Raptors.  He has shooting range that extends to the three-point line, and can finish at the rim in a variety of ways.

He has a very athletic and strong frame that he uses to his advantage when setting screens and when posting up.  He’s also a good free throw shooter, so he can be a lot to handle, especially for smaller power-forwards – which are becoming more and more common in the NBA today.