Does Serge Ibaka Make the Raptors Title Contenders?

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No.

Well, not this season at least. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good move and definitely a step in the right direction but it’s just not good enough to beat the Cavaliers or Warriors right now.

If you haven’t heard yet, Ibaka was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday for Terrence Ross and their 2017 first-round pick. I’m not quite sure what Orlando is thinking as they traded away their star player, Victor Oladipo to acquire Serge just this past offseason, but that’s another article for another time.

Ibaka brings another dimension to the Toronto Raptors. He can stretch the floor, rebound, block shots, and ultimately take some pressure off Lowry and DeRozan. The Raptors do not have a lot of three-point shooting outside of Lowry and a player like Ibaka, who is shooting 39% from three this season would help them space the floor better and open up more room for Lowry and DeRozan to operate. And although Ibaka is not the defensive prowess he once was, he is still more than capable of guarding all five positions if need be.

While this move is definitely a huge upgrade for Toronto, they still have to compete with and beat some of the hottest teams in the NBA right now like the Wizards and Celtics, let alone the Cavs. And they would have to accomplish all this just to have a chance to compete in the Finals.

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly and effectively Toronto can integrate a piece like Ibaka, as the playoffs are less than two months away. Hopefully, they can figure it out sooner than later.

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