The trade deadline for the NBA’s 2022-23 season is quickly approaching, and veteran big man Serge Ibaka appears to be a player that could end up getting moved.
According to a recent report, a handful of Eastern Conference teams with playoff aspirations are monitoring the status of the Milwaukee Bucks big man. The Miami Heat are reportedly one of those teams.
“Several teams are monitoring Ibaka, including the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, and Atlanta Hawks, league sources told HoopsHype,” Michael Scotto reported. “The sense is that Milwaukee would be willing to part with Ibaka for a second-round pick, according to NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype.”
Ibaka hasn’t played much this season, appearing in just 16 games (with no starts) so far. In those games, he’s been on the floor for just 11.6 minutes per contest. He’s putting up 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
His career is seemingly starting to wind down, which isn’t all that surprising given the fact that he is 33 years old.
Still, it seems apparent that there are teams out there that think he could be a nice rotation piece in the frontcourt. In his prime, Ibaka was a force in the post, earning three All-Defensive team honors and leading the league in blocks per game twice.
Another nice aspect for teams that are interested in Ibaka and have playoff goals is that the veteran does have championship pedigree. He was a member of the 2019 Toronto Raptors squad that surprised the league by winning a championship.
For coaches and players alike, it’s surely always seen as a net positive when a roster has a player or two who know what it takes to win a title in the NBA.
If the Heat were to add Ibaka, it would mark a reunion between the big man and point guard Kyle Lowry. Of course, Lowry was a major leader on that Raptors team that won in all in 2019.
With that in mind, it was recently reported that the Heat are looking to shed Lowry’s contract.
It’s possible that the Heat’s roster will look quite different by the time the Feb. 9 deadline comes and goes.