If Toronto Raptors want to save money, Baynes is a cheaper option compared to Ibaka
If the Raptors’ intentions are to save money or prioritize money elsewhere, Baynes would serve as a much cheaper option for the team over Ibaka. Ibaka might be a better offensive player, but Baynes brings enough to the table to not be a negative on that end. He knows when to make the extra pass — he did play on the 2014 Spurs team — is not afraid to shoot the three, and is good at making timely cuts.
On defense, Baynes is just an overall better defender. Serge Ibaka is far from being the defender he was at OKC. He is no longer an elite rim-protector and the stats are there to prove that. Even as an overall defender, the on/off stats show that Ibaka hasn’t been a net positive on defense since his OKC days, per Cleaning The Glass.
Ibaka is a great player and a fascinating character, but are the Raptors willing to pay $20 million for a player who is an overall negative on defense on a team where defense is everything. Baynes is the superior defender and does everything Nurse would want from his Center and more. Baynes at a potential $10-12 million deal would leave the Raptors with extra cap space which can help them in other positions.
At the end of the day, it entirely depends on Ibaka and if he wants that one year deal in the first place. Ibaka is a loveable player and he has repeatedly stated how much he loves the city of Toronto. But if Baynes is the consolation prize, I wouldn’t be too disappointed with that decision.