After weeks of speculation, the Orlando Magic have reportedly traded Serge Ibaka to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Terrance Ross and a first-round draft pick in this year's draft.
Really the one big concern about this trade is that the Magic essentially swapped Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Ersan Ilyasova for Terrance Ross and a first round pick.
Love is having his best season as a Cavalier, averaging 20.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, earning an All-Star selection.
The Raptors, who have dropped to 5th in the East standings, needed to make a move. He was shooting 49 percent from the field and a solid 39 percent from three-point range.
He's an okay rotation player, but is hardly making an impact to justify his salary, which is $10-million this season and $10.5-million for the next two years.
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Given that the Lakers season is quickly unravelling, the team is rightfully looking ahead to the future and focusing on getting as much playing time for young prospects like D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, leaving the 30 year-old Williams as the odd man out. Yet the Raptors and Heat are in need of a power forward and may be willing to take a chance on Ibaka in order to boost their playoff aspirations.
Multiple sources tell CelticsBlog that the Celtics and Magic had discussed an Ibaka deal, but the Celtics were not willing to include Terry Rozier. With Ibaka, the Raptors have a capable shot blocker on defense and a reliable stretch four on offence. He'll be a sought-after commodity as a free agent, and the Raptors would likely want to keep him around with a new deal.
Orlando ultimately landed Ross, a more proven but older player with less upside, instead. They were hard pressed to get a great return on a two- or three-month rental for a soft player whose defensive prowess has been plummeting for five years (sharp drops in block percentage and defensive rating each season). Only Jodie Meeks is shooting better from 3-point range for the Magic. The Raptors were able to reach the Eastern Conference Finals previous year when they eventually fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
At best, Ross is an occasionally serviceable bench player for a good team, but one who has bad efficiency written all over him with an increase in touches.
The 26-year-old Ross quickly changed his profile on Twitter to Orlando Magic guard/forward and tweeted: "Toronto thank you for all the memories, thanks to the wonderful fans".