Serge Ibaka has been in the trade rumors for quite some time now. Orlando is preparing the unload Ibaka because he is about to become a free agent after this season and it looks like he won’t be resigning with the team. There are a lot of possible destinations for a man of Serge Ibaka’s talents. Chief among them are the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets.
However, one unlikely candidate has emerged as a frontrunner for Serge Ibaka: the Miami Heat. NBA fans who might scoff at the idea of Serge Ibaka going to a gutted Miami Heat team might want to update themselves. According to Miami Herald, the Heat are finding their groove this season and are currently riding a 12-game winning streak. A few weeks back, the Miami Heat was scraping at the bottom of the East, nowadays, they are battling for a playoff spot.
According to Fox Sports, this is why getting someone like Serge Ibaka is a must for the Miami Heat. His versatility as a big man can make a big impact if they want to make a serious playoff push. News of the Miami Heat trading away their assets for a massive rebuild has been well documented. However, due to their recent success, the most likely scenario is to have them start trying to build around this core group.
Serge Ibaka is a great shot blocker and having him play alongside another amazing rim protector in Hassan Whiteside is a huge upside. If the Miami Heat can pull this off, the team will have one of the most fearsome frontcourts in terms of defense. While Ibaka is not a great rebounder, his ability to switch on defense is going to be valuable to the Miami Heat.
Ibaka will also improve the Miami Heat on offense. Serge is a solid perimeter threat and will be able to space the floor properly for Hassan Whiteside to operate down low. The Heat will also benefit from Ibaka’s improved pick and roll play, which will be a great compliment to Goran Dragic.
This is definitely the perfect match for the Miami Heat and will provide the team with another muscle for their surprising playoff run. Ibaka has started developing a three point shot and might be a good way for the Heat to apply some pick and pop plays. Similar to what they did with Lebron James and Chris Bosh a few years ago.
Ibaka could also play center for the Miami Heat in case they want to go small ball with other teams. The Heat could deploy a run and gun play if they need to if they could get their hands on Ibaka. Dragic and Waiters could run the Heat offense, while Serge Ibaka punishes other larger teams on the perimeter.
The Heat definitely have young assets that they can give Orlando. So the problem would lie if the Miami Heat are willing to risk a player who could just walk away after three months. In all likelihood, Miami would probably take this risk if they could get their hands on Serge Ibaka. The upsides and benefits are just too great that it will definitely outweigh all the risks.
If Miami continues to be successful, then Ibaka might just find a home there. He is the perfect fit for the Miami Heat roster and is still in the prime of his career. If the Heat are really serious about getting valuable pieces for an amazing playoff push, then they should seriously consider getting Serge Ibaka.
The NBA Trade deadline is just a few weeks away and Miami Heat fans better stay tuned as this story develops further.
[Featured Image by Matt Slocum/AP Images]