Orlando Magic trade Serge Ibaka to Toronto Raptors for Terrence Ross

Orlando had felt in recent weeks that Ibaka might leave in free agency this summer.

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. Beyond that, he has steadily kept the ship moving forward, once it was clear the Raptors were surprisingly turning themselves into an Eastern Conference threat. The Thunder traded Ibaka back in June on draft night in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova.

Indeed, the Magic's offense ranks 29th this season-the team's fifth straight year in the bottom 10-and bad spacing has been a fatal flaw.

From his time in Oklahoma City beside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the 27-year-old Ibaka is used to complementing a pair of high usage scorers. He's shooting 37.5 percent from behind the arc, right in line with his career averages. Ibaka's work on the glass helped the Magic hold a 52-37 rebounding edge over the rival Heat.

Serge Ibaka is going from Death Valley to the Canadian Rockies. "He's proven he can play this game and help us and now he has no excuses". Too often, the Magic have had communication breakdowns on pick-and-roll plays and switch-outs onto open 3-point shooters - plays that have resulted in some wildly erratic play.

Although the Magic are just 5.5 games back of the final playoff spot in the East, it's evident at this point that it would take a miracle for the Magic to sneak into the postseason. "It's been a rough, rough season with so many ups and downs. It just doesn't make sense". Aaron Gordon should shift from the wing to power forward with Ibaka gone and second-year man Mario Hezonja is not ready to be a starter. A switch-friendly Ibaka-Patterson-DeMarre Carroll frontcourt will come in handy in the playoffs, and the removal of Ross from coach Dwane Casey's rotation means Powell (a better player) will have an increased role. "There are a lot of positives, I can tell you that". Love is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds for the defending National Basketball Association champions, who are in Minnesota to play their second-to-last game before the All-Star break. On Tuesday, NBA analyst Chris Broussard was on The Herd w/Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports 1 and said it's certainly interesting to contemplate, although he wouldn't make that trade.

  • Rosalie Stanley