Serge Ibaka, Raptors Reportedly Agree to 3-Year, $65 Million Contract

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2017

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 15:  Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 15, 2017 during Game One of Round One of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors agreed to terms on a three-year, $65 million deal Sunday to extend his stay north of the border, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Sam Amick of USA Today also reported the news before ASM Sports, Ibaka's agency, confirmed his intention to re-sign.

Ibaka joined the Raptors through a February deadline deal with the Orlando Magic, and he filled an immediate need for the Eastern Conference contenders as a stretch 4 who could space the floor on offense and protect the rim on defense.

Ibaka averaged 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from three in 23 regular-season appearances with the Raptors.

"I try to focus on bringing something that nobody brings," Ibaka said, according to the Toronto Star's Doug Smith. "It's hard work; I spend a lot of time working on my game."

Ibaka's intensity as a rebounder and shot-blocker helped the Raptors, but the biggest stride he made last year was in terms of long-range shooting efficiency. Over the entire season, he shot a career-high 39.1 percent from three (minimum 50 attempts).

An evolving weapon off the ball, Ibaka also drilled 38.3 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples, per—attempts that accounted for 32.0 percent of his shots last season.

That prowess proved particularly lethal when Ibaka was paired with the ball-dominant Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan—each of whom needed a more dependable outlet to trust beyond the arc.

Moving forward, Ibaka will need to maintain that status considering the Raptors are at risk of losing power forward Patrick Patterson as they try to avoid straying too far into the luxury tax next season.

If he can do that, the Raptors should continue to wield one of the East's most dynamic star trios for years to come.