LA Clippers’ forward Serge Ibaka was reportedly given a ‘lowball’ offer on a contract extension from the Toronto Raptors following the 2019-20 NBA season. Ibaka spent four years with the Raptors, and was a huge contributor on their 2019 championship roster.
NBA Rumors: Serge Ibaka moves to LA after lowball offer
The Raptors lost both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol to free agency after the 2019-20 season, two of the league’s best big men. According to a report from Sportsnet, “The Raptors’ first offer – about $12 million for the 2020-21 season – was below what [Ibaka] was expecting.”
Toronto lowballed Ibaka because they wanted some money left over to retain Gasol. The Raptors eventually bumped up their offer for Ibaka to $14 million but the damage was already done and both he and Gasol spurned the team for Los Angeles.
Serge Ibaka was given plenty of options once he denied the extension from Toronto, and wound up accepting a 2-year deal worth $19 million with the LA Clippers. Ibaka, 31, has already played 817 career games over a span of 11 years, and has been a prolific rebounder and shot-blocker since his arrival in the league.
The LA Clippers have enjoyed Serge Ibaka’s presence through his first nine games. Ibaka is leading the team in rebounding and averages 11.8 points and 7.0 boards per game. The Clippers will be glad they spent the money on Ibaka as they head on a playoff run for the 2020-21 season. Perhaps Ibaka can play as big of a role as he did in Toronto and get himself another ring.
The Toronto Raptors now find themselves in a bit of a hole to start the 2020-21 season, only recording one win in their first seven games. The front office should still receive some praise for their recent championship, but the Raptors are looking to be a non-factor in a playoff race this season. Their inability to extend Ibaka and Gasol should be looked back on and questioned, especially with the struggles they are facing now.
Published 08 Jan 2021, 04:18 IST