NBA

Serge Ibaka And Raptors Agree To A Big Contract

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After falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs yet again, the Toronto Raptors are already making moves to get ready for next season. Part of that is keeping together the talent they already have.

On that front, they’ve made big progress with Serge Ibaka, who will become a free agent this summer. The deal is “basically done” according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

“Most in NBA circles believe that Ibaka made it clear to the Magic the only team he wanted to land with was Toronto, and it’s likely why other teams in the hunt for him passed on giving big assets,” Kyler said.

“League sources said that a new deal for Ibaka is basically done and that it will start in the $20 million range. It’s possible someone surfaces on July 1 with a better offer, but given Ibaka’s age and rocky season in Orlando, that seems unlikely.”

The Orlando Magic had suspicions that Ibaka wouldn’t sign back with them and they were right, as Ibaka seemed pretty convinced to stay in Toronto from the get-go, despite being effortlessly swept in the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The market for Ibaka is not as hot as it used to be, now a less-athletic, more perimeter-oriented forward who can’t block as many shots as he used to.

A deal starting at the $20 million line is a hefty one, by terms of this collective bargaining agreement or any other — a clear sign that the Raptors intend to leave one of their important pieces, or are prepared to go into the luxury tax in order to keep their starting core intact.

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