The NBA trade deadline is eight days away and as Bucks fans watch their team, they are left frustrated. Brook Lopez injury has many of the Bucks faithful asking for an addition of a center. This is easier said than done, however, as Brook is a unique center. Finding a similar player who can shoot threes, protect the rim and clean the glass is no small task. Those types of players are hard to come by, especially at the price point the Bucks are looking. Enter Serge Ibaka.
What would the trade look like?
Bucks Trade: Donte DiVincenzo and George Hill
Clippers Trade: Serge Ibaka
For the Bucks, DiVincenzo’s contract is up at the end of the year. The Grayson Allen signing could likely hint at the Bucks moving on from Divincenzo. As for George Hill, he’s traded to make money work out.
For the Clippers, Ibaka is on the final year of a two year deal and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. It should be worth noting that Ibaka has a 15% trade kicker that will need to be factored into any trade negotiations.
The Los Angeles Clippers were in the championship conversation just a few short years ago when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George teamed up. Serge Ibaka elected to join them over many other teams. The Clippers seemed to be on their way. With the ACL injury to Leonard and shoulder injury to George, it’s likely a punt year for the Clippers. They could look to unload a few contracts to gear up for the 2022-23 season. At this point in the year, the Clippers are sitting in eighth in the western conference, a play in game.
Ibaka Trade Benefits
Serge Ibaka is currently in his 15th NBA season. Over the course of Ibaka’s career he’s averaged 12.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Serge has sported a 51% FG% and 36% 3P% during that stretch as well and the bulk of his best three point shooting has come in the latter part of his career. The Bucks would get a solid rim protector to play along side Giannis. Ibaka doesn’t need to give the Bucks a high number of minutes, just efficient ones. Down the stretch in games, Giannis will likely play the 5 which would find Ibaka on the bench in crunch time.
In 15 seasons, Ibaka has started 79% of the games he’s played in. Milwaukee could use Ibaka in the starting lineup which would allow Bobby Portis to return to the bench, a unit that has struggled to come up with production in many games this season. Bobby’s energy and production would allow Milwaukee to take advantage of a starting caliber player against a second unit.
Ibaka Trade Downside
Sending DiVincenzo is something the Bucks can afford to do with a few other shooting guards on the team. The shooting guards who will remain are also better shooters, which is what Giannis needs to be surrounded with for the Bucks success. Sending George Hill will be the piece that hurts the most. Hill currently serves as the backup point guard. Sending to Hill to the Clippers will leave two point guards on the roster, Jrue Holiday and Jeff Dowtin.
If Milwaukee would execute this trade, they would likely find themselves in the market to upgrade the backup point guard position. The Bucks don’t have a ton of assets to use as bargaining chips. It’s likely they dangle Jordan Nwora’s name out there to gauge team’s interest in his skill set.
When you stack Ibaka and Lopez careers side by side, Lopez has better numbers in points and assists per game. It should be worth noting that Ibaka brings in championship experience, something all teams would love to add at this point in the year, especially a team looking to repeat as champion. So what do you say Bucks fans, would we like to see Ibaka on our team?
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