The 2020-21 season has been a year to forget for former Toronto Raptors big Serge Ibaka.
After departing Toronto in the offseason in order to see his role increase with the Los Angeles Clippers this season, Ibaka saw his starting spot in L.A. vanish due to a back injury that cost him all but two of the team’s final 30 games of the season.
Now, after playing just 18 minutes in the playoffs, the 31-year-old center will reportedly miss the remainder of the playoffs after undergoing season-ending back surgery, the Clippers announced Friday.
The Raptors had reportedly offered Ibaka a one-year deal last offseason, but once the organization continued its pursuit of fellow Spaniard Marc Gasol, Ibaka decided to sign elsewhere, Sportsnet’s Michael Grange reported in January. Fortunately for Ibaka, his deal in L.A. comes with $9.7 million player-option that he can pick up this summer.
Ibaka averaged just 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in 41 games this season, a significant drop off from his 2019-20 numbers with the Raptors.
The Clippers currently trail the Utah Jazz 2-0 in the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs. If they can bounce back, it’ll be the second straight series in which they’ve clawed out of a 2-0 hole to advance.