Serge Ibaka Signs With Clippers

NOVEMBER 25: The Clippers have officially signed Ibaka, the team announced in a press release.

NOVEMBER 21: The Clippers will sign free agent big man Serge Ibaka, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that Ibaka will receive $19MM over two years on his new deal, signaling that Los Angeles will use its full mid-level exception to complete the signing. Charania adds (via Twitter) that the contract will feature a second-year player option.

The agreement represents a major coup for the Clippers, who lost center Montrezl Harrell to the rival Lakers early in free agency and saw power forward JaMychal Green leave for a deal in Denver. Ibaka, who can play either the four or five, will help replenish the team’s frontcourt depth, giving L.A. a big man who can knock down outside shots on offense and protect the rim on defense.

After starting his career in Oklahoma City and spending a brief stint in Orlando during the 2016/17 season, Ibaka has been in Toronto for the last three-and-half seasons, winning a title with the Raptors (with Kawhi Leonard) in 2019. This past season, he averaged 15.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 1.4 APG with an impressive .512/.385/.718 shooting line in 55 games (27.0 MPG).

By committing their full mid-level exception to Ibaka, the Clippers will hard-cap themselves for the 2020/21 league year and they don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room below the $138.93MM apron. However, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes (via Twitter), the club can create a little extra breathing room by waiving non-guaranteed contracts for Joakim Noah and Justin Patton. Bringing back Noah on a new one-year, minimum-salary deal would cost the team about $1MM less than his current deal.

The Clippers remain in the market for a play-making guard and another big man, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. However, the team will likely be limited to minimum-salary offers or perhaps a portion of the bi-annual exception.

The Raptors, one of the many teams that made an effort to sign Ibaka, were believed to be averse to offering multiyear money, since it would compromise their projected cap room for the summer of 2021. They reportedly offered the big man a one-year, $12MM deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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64 thoughts on “Serge Ibaka Signs With Clippers

    • hiflew

      They needed to replace Harrell as well. There are still PG options as well. I’m sure OKC wants to move George Hill. There are also a few vets left on the market like Brandon Knight, Reggie Jackson, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Yogi Ferrell. No one great, but could good enough. Plus they have Patrick Beverley as well.

      And that is not even counting the availability of Westbrook and Wall. Not sure if the Clips would go there, but it’s an option.

      • Tatsumaki

        They still need a “playmaker” running through kawhi has shown it doesn’t work. After they lost the stated the need someone running offense. Adding Ibaka while a worthy defender still doesn’t address this issue. Beverly while a great defender isn’t much a passer or scorer.

        • I think their biggest issue is that they rely heavily on Paul George and he reportedly doesn’t even get along with his teammates. I don’t the Clippers will be as big of a threat as their fans think they are next season. There is a reason Rivers bolted, and Leonard is overrated in general, but mainly because he simply chooses to not play so often.

    • wakejeff

      It wouldn’t be a bad idea to trade one of their current guards (Williams, Beverley, or Kennard) to get a more traditional PG.

      • jpritch002

        I don’t think their trading Kennard… doesn’t make sense they just got him and he’s a pretty good shooter

        • wakejeff

          They have plenty of shooters, and it wouldn’t be unheard of for a guy to get traded more than once. Trevor Ariza got traded 3 times in the last week.

          • hiflew

            Different situation. Trevor Ariza wasn’t traded, his contract was. Kennard is a useful player on a cheap contract with the potential for future value as well. Ariza could still be useful on the court, but no one is acquiring him with the intention of extending him.

    • Raptors need to retool somehow, resigning him would not make them contenders and they would have no flexibility.

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          Centers like him who only shoot near the basket always have a higher PER because of their high shooting percentages.

      • Tatsumaki

        Last time I checked clippers defense wasn’t the problem. Couldn’t hit a shot, 31 year old Ibaka won’t change that, besides space the floor a bit. Now instead of just having to guard lebron and ad teams have to guard schroder, harrell, lebron and ad. Lakers bench still needs to add a wing and center but they are absolutely stacked. Add a cousins and maybe a sign and trade involving mcgee, kuzma for bogdon yikes

        • DrSeuss69

          lmao they only lost to denver cause of bum ass harrell getting cooked by’re acting like lakers got Beal and Harden or something…id take Ibaka/Zubac on defense over AD/Harrell and lakers got worse defensively..Lebum is another year older too.

  1. mike.honcho

    It’s possible, FVV’s new contract put the RAPTORS in a tight spot. FVV was always going to get over-paid, be it in Toronto or somewhere else.

    Retain Ibaka, they’ll likely be a non-player in the next offseason ……. or maybe Serge just wants to go to somewhere warmer.

    Big move for the CLIPPERS.

    • fun guy

      Honestly, his leaving is probably more to do with playing out of Tampa this year.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Most people wouldn’t because they only look at the offensive numbers while ignoring the fact that Harrell is a huge liability on defense.

      • Kowalski

        Well does PER excludes the defensive rating as well, pls enlighten me on why harrel’s PER was much better.

      • Tatsumaki

        Defensive wins shares has them both about the same on on basketball reference. Main difference is harrell is 6 wins better offensively

      • GoLandCrabs

        Everyone knows he is a liability on defense. If he wasn’t he, he would have got a much larger contract.

        • wakejeff

          I don’t know how they compute PER. What I have noticed, though, is that Ibaka has more offensive range (Harrell rarely shoots outside of 8 feet) and he’s taller, which is important because the Clips were very small before they made this signing. They still could use another big for depth. Gasol hopefully, but he’ll probably want more $ than what the Clips can offer.

  2. Great pickup. He’s a better fit that Harrell with the direction the team needs to head. They did need to use the Full MLE, so the hard cap will be an issue with each move from here. But I think they have enough resources left to reset the backcourt.

  3. Raps might be royally screwed in the frontcourt now. They need to bring Marc back but at this point he needs to be coming off the bench. Is Boucher ready to be a starter? Maybe they resign Biyombo.

  4. Clippers can sign whoever and lose whoever. Unless George starts playing like the player he thinks he is, they are going no where fast.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Didn’t they get like 2nd seed in the playoffs? Seems like somewhere 2 me

      • Tatsumaki

        Didn’t they lose a 3-1 lead to the nuggets while leading in every game by 20 points? Seems like they suck 2 me

        • DrSeuss69

          yes lost cause of Harrell being unplayable and them having to rely on Zubac not fouling out…they solved that problem and still making moves lakers homer


    Solid get to strengthen the front court depth when you’re facing jokic, davis, etc
    Yea they need a guard who can run and stabilize offense. Maybe George hill? I’m guessing the thunder will flip him eventually? He can knock open shots as well.

  6. phenomenalajs

    So much for the idea of getting him to come to Brooklyn, but the Clips could offer him more money plus a title shot.

  7. Simmons>Russ

    First decent move all offseason.

    Still need a Point guard but now have filled out the starting 5 and got some depth

    Would still love to see a move for either Russ, Bledsloe, Oladipo, Dinwiddie or Derrick White.
    Not exactly sure how they would make these deals but these are the players they should be targeting next.

    Maybe something like

    Clippers: Dinwiddie, Oladipo, TJ Leaf
    Nets: Paul George, Kennard and a first from Indy
    Pacers: Caris LeVert, T. Prince

    Clippers then have a stat studded set starting 5 with a good bench too. Nets add that third star and Kennard for depth plus a first, Pacers swap Oladipos expiring deal for LeVert who has great potential and get T. Prince as an upgrade over Leaf

    • Simmons>Russ

      Another idea might be

      Clippers: Eric Bledsloe and Josh Hart
      Pelicans: Pat Beverly and Luke Kennard


      Clippers: Russ and Daniel House
      Rockets: Pat Beverly, Lou Williams and Marcus Morris

    • Tatsumaki

      This trade is biased to the clippers all they give up is George and Kenard and land Dinwiddie and oladipo??? What world is that even possible George is worthless Lmao

      • hiflew

        So the guy had a bad two week stint after a 4 month layoff in the weirdest situation in NBA history and you are writing him off as worthless? I don’t agree with you on a lot, but this one is particularly egregious.

      • Simmons>Russ

        PG is a beast he just had a bad spell, as for who the clippers get back both are on expiring contracts so their values are low

        • Tatsumaki

          So him having a “bad spell” almost every playoffs is valuable? They don’t call him pandemic p for a reason. His stats drop significantly from regular season to playoffs and he has a long documented history of this. Go look at splits and get back to me .

  8. Dxit90a

    Major upgrade than Harrel . Sure they are equal in the regular season but in the playoffs Ibaka is more valuable and proven . He is a better defender , better shooter, and better rim protector . Only think left for the clippers is get a pg. probably will have to trade Lou or Beverly to get one.

  9. stevep-4

    Good pickup for Clippers. They can probably get by with what they have, but it would be good to pick up another guard.

  10. More than half the league was chasing his services. Almost the perfect Center/PF. Protects the rim, can switch on D, and spreads the floor as he shoots a nice three ball at good consistency. Nice pick up. They just need a Floor general.

  11. KnickerbockerAl

    Really going to waive Clippers off. Cause they blew it to Denver. What did Bron do his first yr in LA. Made sure NO got Zion. Clippers were exposed against Denver. They still are a good team. I guess the rumors of breaking them up was premature. Losing Harrell was big. Getting Ibaka is even bigger. Like no one thought Lakers would sign Harrell. No one thought Clippers would sign Ibaka. Nice comeback. Still need a playmaking guard. Lost out on Rondo. Beverley 13 mill contract is killing them. Teague only signed for 3 mill. Don’t Clippers have the biannual worth 3.5 mill. He could of helped. Clippers still are a bad matchup for Lakers. But you have to beat everyone. To win your conference.

    • yes, you have. to beat. everyone. to win your conference. yup. like yeah thats true. do they.

  12. jiegar

    Lakers shouldve got him. he will do a better job on AD than Harrell. the rest isnt important

  13. Dxit90a

    If only somehow the clipper can get Lowry then it would be all over. But it’s going to be hard with his big contact and loyalty to the raptors .

  14. Lakers1

    It’s not about ibaka vs Harrell.. the lakers are poised to resign markieff Morris and cousins.. clippers got ibaka which is a good move but lakers got better depth wise.. if they resign cousins and Morris, they are poised to have starters Mathews, Kcp, lebron, Ad and cousins with a bench of Schroeder, caruso, kuzma, Morris, Harrell.. they will be 10 deep.. clippers have lost a lot of depth.. lakers have shored up theirs bench.. the bench was the Achilles for lakers last year..

    • DrSeuss69

      lmao depth doesnt matter in the playoffs..clippers had the best bench and still lost…id still take Beverly/PG/Kawhi/Morris/Ibaka over any Lakers lineup..Clippers still making moves…if they get a good PG

      • Lakers1

        Depth doest matter to lakers when you have Ad and Lebron.. however, having depth will keep their minutes down.. the lakers bench can be a playoff team in East.. not worried about harrells defense.. vogel is a defensive coach..they will be a good defensive team.. the lakers clearly got better.. clippers are still work in progress to see if they are even as good as last year.. lebron is a big difference maker in the playoffs.. Ad same.. pandemic Paul is still the big question mark.. kawhi is big time player but you need 2 when you want to win chips and lakers have that..

      • Lakers1

        Who would you rather have lebron and Ad or kawhi and pg.. that’s the difference in a title.. clippers problem is they don’t have a leader and defined roles.. lakers know that ad and Lebron are the leaders and everyone else plays their role.. that’s why they win..

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