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#pounditFriday, January 15, 2021

Report: Lakers have interest in Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be active on the veteran free agent market this offseason, and Serge Ibaka is reportedly a name to watch.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com was told by sources around the NBA that the Lakers are targeting Ibaka, whose contract with the Toronto Raptors is expiring. One general manager told Devaney that Ibaka is exactly the type of player the Lakers want to add, but the 7-footer would likely have to take less money to sign with L.A.

“When he is healthy he is an excellent spot starter at the 5 (center) and the 4 (power forward). He is as good a bench big guy as there is in the league. He was a really credible 3-point threat last year,” the GM said. “If he is willing to accept what the Lakers can afford to give him, I know they would want him.”

As Devaney notes, the money could be a significant obstacle. The Lakers have their $9.8 million mid-level exception available, but they would prefer to split that between two players. Ibaka, who earned $23 million with Toronto last season, should have no trouble getting significantly more than the Lakers are willing to offer.

Of course, Ibaka is 31 and has made roughly $120 million in his career. He may welcome the opportunity to play alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the reigning NBA champions.

Ibaka averaged 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season, so he remains a very productive player. He has dropped hints that he will remain in Toronto, and that is still the most likely scenario. If he decides to leave, the Lakers make sense as a landing spot.

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