So if you did not hear, the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic made a trade the other day. The Raptors acquired Serge Ibaka in exchange for shooting guard Terrence Ross and a first round pick. Ibaka definitely makes the Raptors better this season but is the team any better than the one that went to the Eastern Conference Finals last season?
The goal for the Raptors was obviously to get better and Ross has been a disappointment for the most part since coming out of Washington so, as of right now, it looks like they reached that goal. Ibaka is a solid shooter at power forward and has been a good defensive presence down on the block for the 7 years he has played in the NBA.
The combination of Demar Derozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, and Ibaka definitely makes them a scary matchup against whatever team they face in the playoffs. Although, if it comes down to Cavaliers v. Raptors again I’d have to take the Cavs.
Last year in the matchup, the Raptors were missing Valanciunas but they also had Bismack Biyombo playing great basketball. Ross did not do much last postseason but Mr. Biyombo played great in the series. Ibaka is the better offensive player compared to Bismack but defensively it is a tough argument. Valanciunas and Ibaka are better combo than Biyombo and Ross but I dont think it’s enough to dethrone King James.
I think the Raptors have made themselves the second best team in the East with the move, putting them past the Boston Celtics, but LeBron and co. are still the best. Kevin Love and J.R. Smith are out for the mean time but come playoff time, both players would help Cleveland advance past Toronto.