The Thunder From Down Underlahoma signed Serge Ibaka to a four year deal. Baraka means “blessing” in Hebrew, and even though Ibaka is spelled differently than Baraka, the Thunder are hoping he is a blessing for them. The lad turns 23 in September, and thus far he has averaged .540 FG%, .695 FT%, 6.9 RPG and 2.4 BPG. Those are solid numbers, and there’s room for improvement. Just because there’s room doesn’t mean he will improve, of course. There’s room in my heart for love, but I don’t allow it!

Ibaka has not actually improved over three seasons. He’s been consistently the same, but for youth we want improvement. Because he is so young, I can’t say he won’t improve. That would be foolish, and foolishness is a young man’s game. Defense is the area I believe Ibaka will increase his output next season. The #1 reason I say this is because out of all of the stats in the world, he showed dramatic improvements in blocks – from 1.3 BPG to 2.4 BPG to 3.7 BPG. I don’t think that means he gets 4.9 BPG next season, but to me I see a man increasing in confidence and execution. Next season, I seem him producing the following: .540 fg/.680 ft/0.0 3pt/10.0 pts/8.0 rbd/0.4 ast/0.6 stl/4.1 blk/1.1 tov


  1. Fenris-77 says:

    That’s a dicey proposition right there. If you actually believe Ibaka will even repeat his Blk totals (never mind improve on them) then that means you’re pumping him up as a low first, early second round draft choice (since that was the value of those blocks last year per BBM values). Are you actually comfortable taking him that high? I know I’m not, and I’m a pretty huge Ibaka fanboy. I just can’t wrap my head around drafting a one trick pony that early in drafts (even if that one trick is about as good as the Joker’s in Dark Knight). If you think he’ll actually increase his block totals while showing marginal improvements in a couple of other areas that’s where you need to take him though. Interesting.

  2. ChrisV

    ChrisV says:

    Ibaka was far and away your blocks champion last season. If you look at BP48m(inutes), he led the league both last season and the year before, and this last time around he improved dramatically. He blew the rest of the league away. Even without improving those numbers, he is your #1 option for blocks.

    So, yeah, he is a one trick pony, but imagine if he could just get into double digit rebounds – he would be so, so enticing it wouldn’t even be a debate.

  3. Fenris-77 says:

    So far I’m seeing him go in more like a late second round kinda spot, which is far closer to my comfort level. That does mean that there’s an early second round window where even if he lives up to your lofty expectations he still looks like a value pick.

    At what point do you think you;d draft him in a 9 cat league (in the first round, obviously…)

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