The biggest trade of the always entertaining trade-deadline period of the NBA happened today, when the Orlando Magic traded power forward Serge Ibaka to the Raptors for a minimal return. The Raptors acquired Serge Ibaka, a rim protecting big man that can rebound and score, while the Magic acquired Terrence Ross, a shooting guard that never quite reached his potential, along with a 2017 first round draft pick. It's pretty obvious who the winner of this trade is, I really shouldn't even have to say. The Raptors got away with highway robbery here. Now, that's not to say the Magic didn't do the right thing trading Ibaka since they have an abundance of big man and they weren't going to re-sign him after the season anyways, although the return wasn't anything sexy to say the least.
Terrence Ross is a mediocre shooting guard that has been a backup to Demar Derozan his entire tenure in Toronto, he's definitley good for a couple emphatic dunks along with some decent perimeter shooting, however he's not someone that's going to help turn your franchise around. The Magic also acquired the Raptors 1st round pick with this deal, which is the real reason this deal went through. Some uneducated fans might say, well they got a first round pick in return so it's gotta be a pretty good trade, right? Well not necessarily. There's only 2 rounds in the NBA draft for a reason, there just isn't that much NBA talent in the draft. If you don't have a lottery pick the odds of you getting a player to be a major contributor to your franchise are very slim. The Raptors are a shoe-in for the playoffs this year in an extremely weak eastern conference, and odds are they'll probably be a top 4 seed that makes a deep run into the eastern conference playoffs. So the Magic got a mediocre player and a late first round pick for Serge Ibaka, not necessarily something to be thrilled about if you're a Magic fan.
The Magic are clearly still trying to rebuild since the Dwight Howard departure, this will now be their second attempt at the rebuilding process as they are moving pieces and acquiring picks to start fresh from scratch. The first time they attempted this it seemed to be a slow, yet promising process with the likes of Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless, and Victor Oladipo all becoming solid players. For some reason the Magic decided to give up on all them far too quickly, and traded them all away for essentially nothing. Tough time to be an Orlando Magic fan because it's looking like it could be another 3-5 years before they even sniff the playoffs with the way their roster looks now.
As for the Raptors, they might've just secured their spot back in the eastern conference finals with this trade. Raptors haven't been nearly as good as they were last year, with teams like the Celtics and Wizards improving, the Raptors were becoming an afterthought in the east. Ibaka definitley isn't a player that's going to push them over the hill, and help the Raptors achieve the impossible in taking down the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it might just get them back to where they were last year. With Ibaka coming in as a rim protector that rebound at a high clip, along with adding another scoring option for this offense. Ibaka will join Raptors current center Jonas Valanciunas, in the Raptors front court, giving the other competitors in the east something to worry about. Raptors are clearly still very hungry to be the second best team in the east, and they may have just accomplished that with this trade.