If an NBA franchise is on the lookout for a star center, time is of the essence. Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors is hitting his free agency this off-season. He can be a great asset to any team. Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant understands this better than anyone else.
Both Serge Ibaka and KD played together during their days with the Oklahoma City Thunder. During those times, Ibaka was a brutal defensive force. He had back-to-back seasons where he averaged 3+ blocks in 2012 and ‘13. Now, the Brooklyn Nets are very much willing to attract him to their kingdom of title dreams.
Kevin Durant has tried to bring the center to Brooklyn
A recent report said, “Kevin Durant has been recruiting close friend Serge Ibaka to join the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent.” But there lies an issue with this equation.
The 31-year-old made $23.3 million last season, and it will be tough for the Nets to offer him a counter amount. This is exactly where the kinship between KD and Serge can help trade talks. As per Forbes, “Brooklyn can only offer Ibaka the $5.7 million taxpayers’ mid-level exception.”
Earlier, there were also rumors that the 7-footer can move to the Miami Heat. He had allegedly removed ‘Raptors’ from his Instagram bio when the rumors picked traction. As of now, as many as six other teams can give his recruitment a try.
What else is on the plate of the Brooklyn Nets, and why is Ibaka important?
This past season, Ibaka averaged his career-high 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds at 51.2% from the field. His performance from downtown has again bounced back to an impressive 38.5% after hitting a low in 2019. He is also extraordinary at put backs, post-ups, and transition. One such versatile scorer can add weight to the already strong Nets.
The Nets have players like DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen to help them in the frontcourt. They might lose a star in Spencer Dinwiddie, who has a player option for $12.3 million for 2020-21. But in all probability, he can attract a better offer and move out in this off-season.
With so much movement, it will be welcome news if Serge reunites with KD.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops