Furthermore, sources spoken to by the Sporting News also hinted that the Heat may specifically be looking to upgrade their power forward spot. Apart from the two, the Raptors' group of young players include Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell and Jakob Poeltl-all of whom are aged 23 and below.
Ujiri, the team president along with GM Jeff Weltman have always been enamoured by Ibaka, a 6-foot-10 native of the Republic of Congo.
Ibaka made seven of nine shots and had a 3-pointer and two free throws for 17 points in Orlando's 116-107 defeat of the Miami Heat on Monday night. Sliding into an offense in desperate need of production at his position should give Ibaka plenty of chances to shine. How does Ibaka fit in Toronto? It is the Raptors' first trade in almost 20 months.
Ibaka and Raptors president Masai Ujiri have a longstanding relationship, and Ibaka loves the city of Toronto, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
This deal is interesting for quite a few different reasons, but one of which is due to the fact that Ibaka was actually just traded to the Magic this offseason.
This trade puts them in a position to be the favorites heading into the playoff and if Ibaka can be that ripple effect needed on the defensive end of the floor then the Raptors just became the most risky team in the National Basketball Association.
The Magic's return for Ibaka is OK. But the 26-year-old is painfully inconsistent, having the tendency to either take over a game or completely disappear. This trade, today, looks like a laughable miscalculation, and - even though I sort of prefer Ross's contract over the four-year, $84 million deal Oladipo signed in October - the Magic downgraded in every possible way.
"It's kind of hard to pick one", Lowry said. It was originally owned by the Clippers and is expected to fall in the mid-20's.
It's an understandable deal for Orlando, but a no-brainer for Toronto. All-star Kyle Lowry - who just so happens to be a free agent this summer - has been openly complaining about the state of the team, and agitating for the Raptors to make a move to try and get their mojo back. The Raptors therefore achieved much better positional balance, added a veteran with loads of playoff experience, and addressed their biggest weakness without emptying their cupboard of assets.