Serge Ibaka Expresses Desire to Re-Sign with Raptors When Contract Expires

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIApril 9, 2020

Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Thursday, March 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Serge Ibaka isn't looking to leave Toronto anytime soon.  

The Raptors forward, who's in the final season of a three-year, $65 million contract, said he's willing to re-sign this offseason during a virtual interview with Sportsnet's Matt Rodrigo. 

"I'm going to stay, bro." Ibaka said. "This place is beautiful. ... It's a beautiful city, beautiful people here and then we have one of the best teams. Why leave?"

It's safe to say the current contract has worked out quite well for both sides.

Ibaka is currently averaging a career-best 16.0 points and 8.3 rebounds while playing 27.5 minutes per night. He's ingrained himself on a roster that's among the best in the Eastern Conference and was close to locking up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern playoffs before the NBA suspended play due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Beyond his numbers, Ibaka was a major player in winning the team's first title last season and has become a fan favorite thanks to his personality and love of scarves

The 11-year veteran will turn 31 in September, so it remains to be seen whether he can continue to produce at his current clip. Regardless, the three-time first-team All-Defensive honoree adds plenty of value across the board, especially when he's playing alongside forward Pascal Siakam.

The Raptors already survived one massive offseason loss when Kawhi Leonard bolted for the Los Angeles Clippers last summer. While finding a replacement for Ibaka might be easier in theory, continuing to dismantle a championship roster would come with obvious risks. 

In any case, the fact that Ibaka wishes to remain with the Raptors should at least be seen as a win. As general manager Bobby Webster continues to forecast what the team could look like moving forward, he can count on Ibaka remaining a part of the roster if he offers him an extension. 

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