According to an article from Basketball Insiders Reporter Steve Kyler, there have been some exploratory trade discussions between the Raptors and Magic about big man Serge Ibaka.
Kyler says that the Magic, who are easily the most active team on the trade market at the moment, discussing deals for players such as Ibaka, Nikola Vucevic, Jeff Green and C.J. Watson, have been valuing their players too highly and that the Raptors wouldn’t want to give up much in the way of assets in order to acquire Ibaka who is a free agent to be this summer.
The Magic are probably just trying to gauge the market and won’t budge on their trade demands for their assets in the oft chance that someone takes the current bait before they become more realistic about what it will take to move someone in their loaded front court.
The Raptors meanwhile are cratering and badly need someone to be able to fill their dire need for rim protection while also being some what of an offensive threat. While they only have parts of that sort of player in Patrick Patterson and Jared Sullinger (offensively skilled, awful defenders) and Pascal Siakaam and Lucas Nogueira (can defend and rebound but have no offensive skill set at this point), they don’t have a reliable power forward or back up center to elevate them back to what they were last year.
Serge Ibaka is exactly the player they need in order to truly be a contender in the eastern conference.
I realize they are a well run organization that is always looking toward the future and not just the present, which is why they would be wary to acquire Ibaka without the guarantee of him re-signing or being able to pay him what he may command on the open market, but their window to contend in the east could close at any moment and they need to shake things up if they want to return to the eastern conference finals and have any chance of competing with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
That is why they need to deal Terrance Ross and a lottery protected first round pick either this year or in the future for Serge Ibaka.
The trade works salary wise as Ibaka makes only $2.5 million more per season than Ross, and although in theory of basically trading Victor Oladipo and Domanatas Sabonis for Terrance Ross and a later first round draft pick is a downgrade any way you slice it, acquiring an athletic wing who can shoot and create his own offense and is still young and on a good contract is the way the Magic need to go.
This way each team gets a player they sorely need and the Raptors refresh their playoff hopes with a guy who has the same agent as Kyle Lowry and would be likely to re-sign beyond the season. The Magic get a talented young wing player and open up more minutes for Aaron Gordon and Bismack Biyombo.