Serge Ibaka On Heat’s Radar

Potential trade candidate Serge Ibaka is on the Heat’s radar, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. It’s not clear how seriously Miami would consider pursuing Ibaka, or whether the Heat would have the assets to tempt their division rivals in Orlando. Nonetheless, Ibaka “intrigues” the Heat, per Jackson.

A longtime member of the Thunder, Ibaka was sent to Orlando this past summer after spending his first seven NBA seasons in Oklahoma City. Currently, Ibaka is averaging a career-high 15.2 PPG for the Magic, though he’s playing a different style of game than he did earlier in his career.

Ibaka’s 1.5 three-pointers per game and 38.5% conversion rate on long-distance attempts are career bests. Those numbers reflect the fact that he has developed an outside shot in recent years after barely attempting any three-pointers during his first few seasons. However, Ibaka’s rim-protection numbers have taken a hit as of late — he’s averaging fewer than two blocks per 36 minutes this season for the first time in his career.

Still, while he may not be the shot-blocker he was earlier in his career, Ibaka can provide solid defense and rebounding in addition to his expanded offensive game. The 27-year-old is on track for unrestricted free agency this summer, which will make him an interesting trade chip. Suitors may be reluctant to give up much for a player that could be a rental, but the Magic will likely be seeking a significant return after surrendering Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Ersan Ilyasova for Ibaka last summer.

While it remains to be seen whether the Heat could offer the Magic a package that would pique their interest, acquiring Ibaka would give the team a leg up on re-signing him this summer, since they’d hold his Bird rights. Even if Miami doesn’t make a move for Ibaka this month, he’ll likely remain a potential target for the franchise in free agency this offseason.

It’s also worth noting that today is the first day the Heat are eligible to pursue medical retirement for Chris Bosh, who has been out of action for a full year. Miami would have the opportunity to clear Bosh’s cap hits from the team’s salary cap, though reports have indicated that the club won’t necessarily move forward with that process right away.

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8 thoughts on “Serge Ibaka On Heat’s Radar

    • arp7241

      I hope not but you’re right. They have to be, but he might be worth it. Ibaka is more proven… im not sure how high Winslow’s ceiling actually is

      • Formerlyz

        Obviously I meant trade Whiteside in a separate deal and wait to sign ibaka in free agency

        • Drake

          I’m pretty sure Pat wants to sign Ibaka with the intention to trade Whiteside for good assets in return. I will not advise that! I’ld like to see front court of Whiteside and Ibaka, and Back court of Dragic and Waiters. Front court of Whiteside and Ibaka will be deadly. Ibaka is a better finisher and shooter than Whiteside, and Whiteside is a better rebounder and blocker(well now not yrs back as Ibaka dominated the league for yrs and still top 10 now) which will compliment each other!

  1. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    I felt the Sixers should have offered Noel and something else or Noel straight-up for Ibaka.
    However, the Sixer playoff hopes are dim once again and I have no idea as to what Colangelo wants to do.

  2. tutopelotas1

    Let’s Make The Deal with Orlando … sending them injured Justise Winslow and Wayne Ellington will do it !!

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