NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto Raptors likely to trade Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka ahead of the trade deadline
What's the rumor?
The Toronto Raptors are the current defending NBA champions, although few believe that the team can compete for another title this season after losing Kawhi Leonard in free agency. Due to this, the Raptors could look to offload players ahead of the trade deadline, and The Athletic is reporting that they are likely to trade either Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol:
The trade value of Gasol and Ibaka appears more situational, and it seems likely they would only trade one and not both. Still, one can imagine a center-starved team like Boston or the Clippers making a few calls Toronto’s way as we get into January.
In case you didn't know...
Ibaka and Gasol both played a key role in last season's playoffs, although the veteran duo is in their 30's, and will both become free agents next summer.
Ibaka has started the season in excellent form, averaging 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 25 minutes. Meanwhile, Gasol has struggled through the first five games of the season, averaging just 5.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in 24.2 minutes.
The heart of the matter
Despite losing Leonard and Danny Green last summer, the Raptors opted to stick with the current roster, and they have been rewarded with an excellent 4-1 start to the season. Nevertheless, certain areas of the roster need a refresh, and it makes sense for them to trade one of their aging centers.
Gasol or Ibaka could help a team that lacks a quality big such as the Boston Celtics, and the Raptors should be able to get at least a pick and a young player in exchange.
After defeating the Detroit Pistons last night, the Raptors will face the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.