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Toronto Raptors may have just won East with Serge Ibaka Trade

15 February 2017

The NBA saw another major deal go down today, when the Toronto Raptors sent wing Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for power forward Serge Ibaka.

Ibaka, selected 24th overall by Seattle in the 2008 draft, is averaging 15.1 points and 6.8 rebounds a game this season.

It also should be noted that while Ibaka is a pending free agent, he and Lowry both share the same agent, Andy Miller, so Toronto should have an idea of what they're getting, both this year and moving forward, by acquiring him.

The Raptors are scheduled to face the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday night and return to Toronto to play the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

"Serge has been to a finals, he's been to a Western Conference finals, he's played with an MVP, he's played with a possible MVP, he knows how to play the game of basketball", Lowry said.

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Plus, Ross was owed more than US$20-million over the next two years.

Ross, who was in his 5th season with the Raptors, was averaging his usual 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

The issue? All signs indicate Kyle Lowry will exercise his player option to opt-out of his contract this summer to command top-dollar in free agency.

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. He was shooting 49 percent from the field and a solid 39 percent from three-point range. The Magic were reportedly hoping to wait until closer to the February 23 deadline to make an actual deal while waiting for the price to come to where they liked it, but the Raptors clearly made a push for action earlier, and the timing really couldn't be better. Will the Cavs trade Kevin Love in lieu of the recent injury update, or make another move to help their roster?

Raptors coach Dwane Casey has said all season long that the something is defence. The Raptors will convey to the Magic the less desirable of their two first-round picks (their own and one belonging to the Clippers), which should land in the mid-20s.

Toronto Raptors may have just won East with Serge Ibaka Trade