AP Photo/Aaron Gash
Serge Ibaka was traded to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday in the three-team deal who sent Jae Crowder to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Now the veteran center is being dropped by the Pacers and will come to the open market, according to The Athletic and Stadium. Shams Charania.
Charania and Eric Nehm of The Athletic reported on January 20 that the Bucks and Ibaka had mutually agreed to part ways via trade as he continued to stay away from the team for “personal reasons”.
Ibaka instantly became a buyout candidate after being traded to Indiana. However, it’s unclear which teams might be interested in the veteran big man.
The Bucks acquired Ibaka from the Los Angeles Clippers at the 2021-22 season trade deadline, and he re-signed with the team to a one-year, $2.9 million contract during the summer.
Ibaka played 19 games for the Bucks last season, mostly off the bench, and he averaged seven points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor in 17.8 minutes per game.
The 33-year-old’s role at Milwaukee has declined this season. In 16 games, he averaged 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor in 11.6 minutes per game. Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo, naturally, saw a lot more playing time.
Ibaka, a two-time block champion, began his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder and also played for the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic. His best years came from 2012-21, when he averaged 13.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, one assist and 1.9 blocks in 628 games during that span.
Now past his prime, Ibaka has been useful off the bench, and he should prove to be a solid addition for any teams looking for extra depth entering the final months of the regular season.