Countdown to the trade deadline: Serge Ibaka

Several writers in the NBA media sphere think the Boston Celtics should kick the tires on Serge Ibaka:

Ibaka, who was traded to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Ersan ─░lyasova and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis in a scramble to deal with Kevin Durant's looming free agency this summer, hasn't exactly lit the world on fire in O-town since arriving. To be fair, he's actually improved offensively a bit, but expectations were high he'd take a bigger step forward away from two of the biggest offensive games in the NBA (Russell Westbrook and Durant). His defensive game has not dipped much, and in some ways has even improved compared to the last year or two, but has been in steady decline since its peak in his third and fourth seasons.

So why would Boston want him, you ask? Well, his game would fit well into Boston's offense; picture something like Al Horford, but with poorer passing and - here's the important part - better rebounding for a fraction of the cost, all on an expiring deal. For those of you who are more of a casual fan, this matters because 1) rebounding has been something of an Achilles heel for this squad, and 2) his cap hit comes off the books in a summer the Celts will be looking for a big fish free agent, so the lack of long-term commitment would allow Boston more flexibility on roster decisions going forward.

There's still some risk involved, because Orlando isn't going to sell cheap given they traded away multiple players drafted in the lottery to get Serge to Orlando, so while the asking price won't be quite that high, it will likely cost Boston some of its better rotation players and at LEAST one quality first round pick (though perhaps not lottery-quality). And that flexibility that comes with the short-term deal means Ibaka might end up walking when the season's over, flushing those assets to where the sun doesn't shine. But then, the payoff might be huge, too, if injury or bad luck clear a Cleveland Cavaliers or Toronto Raptors squad from their path.

What do you think, CelticsLife readers? Should Danny Ainge and company make an offer? If so, what should it have in it?  Take the Twitter polls, and leave your thoughts and trade suggestions in the mentions, or here in the comment section below. We'll use the best - and funniest - comments in our write-up of your point of view on this trade proposal later this week.

For more stories about the trade deadline on CelticsLife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.

Photo via Associated Press/John Raoux
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