NBA Trade Rumors: Serge Ibaka And James Harden Set To Team Up In Houston Rockets Before February

Serge Ibaka
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 27: Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates a play against Francisco Garcia #32 of the Houston Rockets in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Toyota Center on April 27, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Photo : Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

At 11-15, sitting on the 11th of the Eastern Conference, the latest NBA trade rumors are persistent in convincing the Orlando Magic to hit the trade market on Dec. 15. Recent reports are suggesting the Magic to bolster their offensive strategy as they obviously need a flawless shooter. Serge Ibaka's name has then been popping up and the latest speculation says he will reunite with James Harden in exchange of the Rockets' point maker.

The trade rumor mill spins for the Magic who are currently falling far behind the East Con's top 8. A viable offer being eyed by observers is an Ibaka-Trevor Ariza trade or an Ibaka-Eric Gordon deal. With the Rockets positioning for the playoffs and the Magic struggling to go up a bit, will this trade scenario actually help these two teams?

The Magic are obviously not doing well this season and general manager Rob Hennigan is reportedly considering to trade some of his players for a more reliable shooter. If Ibaka is really the one the Magic judge as the right trading piece, then the team might be giving away a valuable asset that other teams in the league will die to sign with.

Ibaka has definitely come a long way ever since he entered the NBA as his potential was initially based on his physical tools and his raw athletic skills. This power forward has morphed into a monster weapon inside the court who plays both offense and defense. Not much player in the league can do what he does and none so far can be like Ibaka who excels as a shooter, scorer, rim protector, screen setter, and ball mover all at the same time. He is indeed the ideal player of the league.

When the Orlando Magic acquired Bismack Biyombo and Ibaka last summer for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Ersan İlyasova, the team was expecting for a better 2016-2017 NBA season. However, the team is going the opposite direction as they are now at the bottom five of their division. There is certainly something wrong with the Magic's rhythm but if putting the blame on Ibaka is the point, then the team needs more re-assessment as the 27-year-old superstar is definitely an ace who only needs the right playing partner.

Instead of making it to the playoffs this season, the Magic then are seemingly heading to another draft and trade period, hoping to collect the right players that will lift up the team next year. As the team is reportedly looking to improve more of its offensive strategy for 2017, analysts are still guessing who it is eyeing for trade this December and in February.

The Rockets, on the other hand, are reportedly in need of more defensive players. With Dwight Howard entering the free agency, the team is feeling the horrifying effect of Howard's absence. Ibaka is then sought after by the Rockets to fill up their defense strategy.

As already mentioned, Ibaka is one of the best rim protectors in the league as of late. This power forward is so much capable of erasing sure layups by the opposing team. Opposite teams against Ibaka can hit 42.4 percent of their shot attempts with the superstar at the rim. He can single-handedly turn what is supposed to be an easy shot into a difficult one. The ring is surely well-guarded with Ibaka inside the court. Plus with his buffed physique, Ibaka's presence is certainly intimidating to opposing players.

Now with the possibility of playing alongside James Harden who is a consistent player appearing on the MVP race top bets, the Rockets can look forward to better playoffs if they are really to acquire Ibaka before the February trade deadline.

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