The Case for Keeping Ibaka
2019-20 stats – 55 GP – 15.4 PPG – 8.2 RPG – 1.4 APG – .512 FG% – .385 3P% – .718 FT%
Career stats – 808 GP – 12.6 PPG – 7.4 RPG – 0.8 APG – .514 FG% – .360 3P% – .758 FT%
On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors also have another great player that is a free agent this off-season and it is the shot blocka, Mafuzzy chef, Serge Ibaka. Whoever the Raptors re-sign, if it’s Fred VanVleet or Serge Ibaka, or even if they’re lucky and get to re-sign both of these players, they are getting a great player in both of them no matter what. Ibaka who has been playing the best basketball of his career lately it seems like with the Raptors, has also been a huge key piece to the team on both ends of the basketball.
Besides his playmaking ability which obviously isn’t the greatest given his position and the type of player he is, I truly think Ibaka has everything else that a basketball player would want for themselves.
Yes I know he doesn’t score the lights out every night and he also isn’t a spot-up shooter either, but Ibaka can still consistently throw up 15 points a night on the board while coming off the bench and can also once in a while have a monster night on both ends of the ball as we’ve seen in games these past seasons.
Just looking at Ibaka’s last two seasons as a Toronto Raptor it looks like he is getting better with age and that is not a bad thing whatsoever. In the last two seasons he has averaged over 15 PPG and over 8 RPG, the last time he averaged over 15 PPG was back on the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2013-14 season on a great team.
The last time he averaged over 8 RPG was also the only time he averaged over 8 RPG during his career and it came in the same season as his career-high in PPG which was on the Thunder back in the 2013-14 season.
I won’t lie if the Toronto Raptors do lose Serge Ibaka in free agency they are losing a great player no matter what and since its looking like Marc Gasol may be done with the NBA and potentially heading back to Spain to finish off his career, the Raptors have to address their big men situation as soon as possible.
This means they will have to more than likely trade for or sign a starting center through free agency this off-season because I don’t think Chris Boucher is ready for those big minutes and he isn’t the biggest center either in size.
Before I end off with what kind of player Ibaka is and how good of a player he also is, it has been reported that multiple teams are very interested in the big man. Teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, etc. It should be a very exciting and stressful off-season at the same time, to say the least. (Stats from Basketball-Reference.com)