Magic trade Serge Ibaka to Toronto

The deal became official on Tuesday afternoon following a trade call between the Magic, Raptors and the National Basketball Association.

Serge Ibaka is heading north as the Toronto Raptors just pulled off a major trade in an effort to shake up the East. This year's draft is said to be deep with talent, so the Magic could pick up a promising young player as well.

Ross, who was drafted eighth overall in 2012, averaged 10.4 points per game this season.

Trade rumors have been swirling around Ibaka for weeks now, which makes sense from Orlando's perspective.

Ross, the No. 8 pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, scored a career-best 51 points by making 16 of 29 shots, 10 of 17 3-pointers and nine of 10 free throws on January 26, 2014. Who came out as the biggest victor in the Jusuf Nurkic-Mason Plumlee swap between the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers?

"Obviously, the guy is an athlete and he's a terrific shooter, " Magic guard Evan Fournier said on Tuesday. "He's got to come out and do his thing and help us". "So he brings a lot".

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Perhaps Boston-which, like Toronto, is chasing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoff race-may have been more motivated to acquire Ibaka if the veteran big man weren't set to become a free agent in July.

The Magic get a player in Ross who is in his fifth season in the National Basketball Association and could flourish in a bigger role depending on how the Magic utilize him. Ross is a player coveted around the league for his streaky three-point shooting. It will also be interesting to see how head coach Frank Vogel juggles the lineup with Ross.

"So it has been tough to play two bigs, " Vogel continued.

Indeed, the Magic's offense ranks 29th this season-the team's fifth straight year in the bottom 10-and awful spacing has been a fatal flaw. Should the Magic have held out for more? The win allowed the Magic to snap a four-game losing streak. "It's been a rough, rough season with so many ups and downs". And how well did Orlando mitigate its losses by making this trade?

Ibaka fills a hole for the Raptors, who have been missing a productive power forward to go alongside their star backcourt and solid pieces at centre and small forward. After spending to retain DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas over the last few summers while also adding DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph, the Raptors had extremely little flexibility to add new talent in 2017 especially since Kyle Lowry will also hit free agency this summer. But now with Ibaka the team has a player that fits their exact needs at that position. Financially, the Raptors are in a complex situation that will likely either force them to make another trade or pay the luxury tax. Still, his individual numbers have not suffered from the extra usage: his 3-point percentage, 38.8 per cent, is the highest of his career, and his field-goal percentage, 48.8 per cent, is higher than his last two years. On Tuesday, the Raptors made a splash to try and turn their season around. During the 2016 National Basketball Association draft, Toronto was aggressively talking to Oklahoma City about a trade that would bring Ibaka to the Raptors in exchange for a package centered around the No. 9 pick. My guess is that Ross will get the bulk of the minutes but that could easily change as the season winds down.

Toronto is confident it can re-sign him this summer, a source told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

  • Tabitha Byrd