KEY POINTS

  • Serge Ibaka may be on the verge of being recruited by the Lakers
  • The Mavericks are also expected to make a bid for Ibaka
  •  Ibaka's future with the Raptors remains uncertain as free agency looms

After playing for 11 years in the NBA, Serge Ibaka remains one of the most sought-after centers in the league. The proof is in the pudding as the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks have garnered interest in tapping the services of the Congolese-Spanish big man.

With the free-agency period set to commence on Nov. 20, veterans such as Ibaka are seen as key pickups for franchises seeking a deep playoff run. 

Known for his defensive abilities, Ibaka serves as a strong presence inside the paint that could benefit Western Conference teams like the Lakers and Mavericks.

Nicknamed “Iblocka” during his days with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the three-time All-Defensive team member has proven himself as a prominent rim protector.

Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney reported that the Lakers are among the organizations that have their eyes glued on the former NBA champion.

“From a personnel standpoint, he is exactly the kind of combo big guy that team [the Lakers] needs,” a general manager told Deveney, as quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“They have had an interest in him before and they will again. When he is healthy, he is an excellent spot starter at the five [center] and the four [power forward]. He is as good a bench big guy as there is in the league. He was a really credible three-point threat last year. If he is willing to accept what the Lakers can afford to give him, I know they would want him.”

Meanwhile, Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated believes that Ibaka seems to be a good fit for the Mavericks, pointing out that the seven-footer could stretch the floor for head coach Rick Carlisle while helping in the rebounding department.

“All of those descriptions of the Lakers' fit with Ibaka are mirrored by Dallas' fit with the 31-year-old 7-footer, who will be free coming off the three-year, $64 million deal he signed in 2017,” Fisher wrote.

Ibaka had a big role in the Raptors' NBA title-clinching season last year, but his spot on the roster hangs in a balance as their front office is prioritizing to re-sign Fred VanVleet.

serge-ibaka Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors screams during an NBA game. Photo: The Star