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How Will Serge Ibaka Fare With the Toronto Raptors?

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference over the last couple of years, but they’ve had a gaping hole at the power forward position since Chris Bosh left the franchise for the Miami Heat in 2010. That changed on Wednesday.

Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri pulled the trigger on the biggest trade of the NBA season, sending Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for veteran big man Serge Ibaka.

The Raps targeted Ibaka at the 2016 NBA draft when he was still with the Oklahoma City Thunder but balked at the Thunder’s asking price of Cory Joseph, Patrick Patterson, Norman Powell and the No. 9 overall pick that turned into Jakob Poeltl.

Bovada released a series of props in light of the news, with odds on Ibaka’s average blocks, rebounds and points per game as well as odds on if he’ll be on the Raptors roster for the first game of the 2017-18 campaign.

The acquisition of the Congo native couldn’t have come at a better time for Toronto. The Dinos have hit a proverbial wall of late, losing 11 of their last 15 games ahead of Wednesday’s tilt with the Charlotte Hornets. It was becoming extremely apparent that the current makeup of the roster wasn't good enough to challenge the top teams in the Eastern Conference – especially the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While he’s shown signs of decline in recent years, Ibaka gives the Raptors some badly needed rim protection, outside shooting and a steady presence on the defensive end of the floor. Patrick Patterson has filled in admirably as a starter, but the Kentucky product is better suited as a reserve and the team has collapsed on multiple occasions in his absence.

The shop is also dealing props on how Toronto finishes the season, and the +300 chance of them to win the Atlantic Division looks like great value. The Boston Celtics have emerged as a force in the East, but I’m not convinced they’re ready to snatch the banner from Toronto just yet.

Average blocks per game for Serge Ibaka in Toronto
  • OVER 1.9 -120
  • UNDER 1.9 -120
Odds as of February 15 at Bovada
Average points per game for Serge Ibaka in Toronto
  • OVER 13.5 -120
  • UNDER 13.5 -120
Average rebounds per game for Serge Ibaka in Toronto
  • OVER 7 -120
  • UNDER 7 -120
Will Serge Ibaka be on the Toronto Raptors' roster for game 1 of the 2017-18 season?
  • YES -175
  • NO +135
Will the Toronto Raptors win the Atlantic Division in 2016-17?
  • YES +300
  • NO -400
What seed will the Toronto Raptors be in the 2016-17 playoffs?
  • 1 +4000
  • 2 +1000
  • 3 +240
  • 4 +210
  • 5 +270
  • 6 +900
  • 7 +1800
  • 8 +4000
  • Not in playoffs +4000