The Milwaukee Bucks and Serge Ibaka have mutually agreed to find the veteran big man a new team through a trade. Shams Charania from Athletic. Ibaka was absent from the team for reasons that were described as personal.
The Bucks acquired Ibaka on last season’s deadline and did so in large part due to Brooke Lopez’s health issues. Now Lopez is healthy and thriving, and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis are solidified, and Ibaka simply does not have free minutes. If he wants to play, he will need a new team.
Ibaka, 33, is a 14-year NBA veteran who has played a major role on several competing teams. He won a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019 and helped the Oklahoma City Thunder struggle through much of that decade. He also played for the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Clippers.
At the height of his career, Ibaka was that rare big man who could defend the rim and shoot three-pointers at a high level. Although he can still shoot from deep, his game has otherwise deteriorated due to age. Once one of the best blocking shots in the NBA, Ibaka has only blocked 14 shots in 35 games in Milwaukee over the past two seasons. He’s averaged 4.1 points per game for the Bucks this season, but Milwaukee is one of the strongest teams in the NBA. Perhaps the team that needs the big man more will look at Ibaku between now and the deadline.