While the Lakers have steadily been adding to their roster that won the NBA championship a month ago, the Clippers have watched as their free agency plans have not yet gone according to plan. They re-signed Marcus Morris to a big deal, but saw Montrezl Harrell join the Lakers and JaMychal Green depart for the Nuggets, meaning they had a significant hole to fill in the frontcourt.
On Saturday night, they were able to do so in a major way when they beat out the Lakers and others for the services of Serge Ibaka, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, as the veteran big man is coming off of one of his best seasons in some time with the Raptors.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 22, 2020
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports it is a two-year, $19 million deal, which indicates it’s for the mid-level exception.
Free agent Serge Ibaka plans to sign a 2-year, $19M deal with the Clippers, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 22, 2020
Ibaka averaged 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season for the Raptors, most importantly putting up those numbers on tremendous efficiency, shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range. He figures to slot into a major role with the Clippers, likely taking on the gap left behind by Harrell, who is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.
It’s the first big win of free agency for the Clippers, who pair Ibaka back up with Kawhi Leonard — which likely played a part in landing the big man — as the two won a title in Toronto in 2018-19.