NBA Rumors: Raptors Could Swap Serge Ibaka For Andrew Wiggins, ‘Bleacher Report’ Suggests

Does trading Serge Ibaka for Andrew Wiggins make sense for both the Raptors and the Timberwolves?

Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket
Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Does trading Serge Ibaka for Andrew Wiggins make sense for both the Raptors and the Timberwolves?

The departure of Kawhi Leonard from the Toronto Raptors has dramatically changed the NBA landscape. With the current talent on their roster, the Raptors still have a chance of extending their playoff streak in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, after losing their best player, it remains a big question mark if the Raptors still have what it takes to defend their throne and bring home their second Larry O’Brien Trophy.

If they are still serious about contending for the NBA championship next season, the Raptors should continue to find ways to upgrade their roster. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, one of the players that the Raptors could target on the trade market is Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“The Raptors can still be good this season even without Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, although they won’t make much noise in the playoffs without an additional scoring punch. For all his faults, Wiggins can put the ball in the basket (career 19.4 points per game), and the veteran supporting cast around him (Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet) would do wonders for the 24-year-old’s development. Taking Wiggins out of a Minnesota rebuild and putting him on his hometown team would be the best possible situation to extract the talent that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2014.”

Andrew Wiggins is still far from reaching the level of Kawhi Leonard, but he would still be an intriguing replacement in the Raptors’ wing. Last season, Wiggins averaged 18.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.0 steals, while shooting 41.2 percent from the field, and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc. In his first five seasons in the NBA, Wiggins hasn’t suffered any serious injuries and at 24-years-old, he fits well with the timeline of Pascal Siakam.

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In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Raptors would be sending Serge Ibaka to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins and a top-five protected 2020 first-round pick. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. The deal would be a no-brainer for the Raptors, especially if they want to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference. Aside from acquiring a young and talented player, the Raptors would also receive a future draft asset as compensation for absorbing Wiggins’ lucrative contract.

Meanwhile, the deal would allow the Timberwolves to open up a huge chunk of their own salary cap space that they could use to give the face of the franchise, Karl-Anthony Towns, a better supporting cast. Though he won’t stay long in Minnesota, Serge Ibaka could still provide a veteran presence and championship experience in the Timberwolves’ front court next season.