An NBA reporter claims that Serge Ibaka resents Marc Gasol and attributes his departure from the Toronto Raptors to Gasol.
The Raptors have been struggling mightily to start off this 2020-21 NBA season. They are currently ranked 29th in offensive rating while boasting a 1-5 record ahead of their game against the Phoenix Suns tonight.
The Raptors have had to adjust the most going into this season as they weren’t allowed to play in Toronto due to COVID restrictions. So they are now situated in Tampa Bay.
The Toronto Raptors didn’t seem to have a particularly great offseason either. The only positive that came from it was them re-signing swingman OG Anunoby. Other than that, they let go of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, and tried to replace them with Aron Byanes which clearly isn’t working out.
Serge Ibaka wanted to stay in Toronto but couldn’t because of Marc Gasol
It is being reported by Michael Grange of Sportsnet that Ibaka wanted to return to Toronto but only on a one year deal. However, due to the Raptors wanting to retain Marc Gasol, this couldn’t happen. Grange said,
“The Raptors’ first offer was about $12 million for this season and this was below what he was expecting. While Toronto came up to $14 million, they were still trying to keep some powder dry to pursue Gasol.”
“This didn’t go over well with Ibaka who resented having to play behind the Spanish international and wasn’t going to sign on for a shared role again. Ibaka quickly pivoted to the Los Angeles Clippers and their 2 year/$19 million deal.”
The Raptors didn’t end up signing Gasol either as he got picked up by the Los Angeles Lakers on a one year deal. Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol were 2 of the Raptors’ 7 best players. They helped stretch the floor for them while also anchoring their defense.
Not to mention, putting Gasol beyond the arc or around the free throw line would almost always result in a nifty pass to a cutter from backdoor. Without them, Toronto seem lost on defense and on offense. As Kyle Lowry said, “We’ve lost our swagger.”