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14-Year NBA Veteran Set To Sign With Real Madrid

© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Serge Ibaka had a lengthy 14-year career in the NBA. He last played in the league in the 2022-23 season before joining on to play with Bayern Munich of the EuroLeague. Now it looks like the 34-year-old will continue to play outside of North America next season. He is reportedly on the verge of agreeing to a deal with a new team.

14-Year NBA Veteran Set To Sign With Real Madrid

Heading To Play With Real Madrid?

According to the website Encestado (written in Spanish), Ibaka is expected to sign with Real Madrid for the 2024-25 season. It will actually be a return to Spain for Ibaka. After he was selected in the 2008 NBA Draft, Ibaka played one season for Baxi Manresa before embarking on his NBA career.

Not only is it a return to Spain, but it is also a return to Real Madrid. Ibaka signed a two-month contract with them in 2011 while the NBA was in a lockout. The deal included an option to return to the NBA once the lockout was over, which he did.

The 6-11 Ibaka played 28 games for Bayern Munich last season in the EuroLeague. He posted averages of 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 24.7 minutes per contest. His shooting splits were .598/.480/.667 on the season.

Serge Ibaka Was Once One Of The Most Feared Rim Protectors

Ibaka’s most productive NBA seasons came during his first seven years when he played with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He led the league in blocks back-to-back seasons in 2011-12 (3.7) and 2012-13 (3.0). For three straight seasons from 2011-12 to 2013-14, Ibaka was named to the All-Defensive First Team. In those three seasons, he had Defensive Player of the Year finishes of second, third, and fourth. Oklahoma City reached the NBA Finals in 2012 but lost to the Miami Heat in five games.

After moving on with the Thunder, Ibaka played with four other teams in the Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks. In the 2019 playoffs, Ibaka was a key reserve on a Raptors team that won the championship. He last played 16 games with the Bucks in 2022-23, before he was traded to the Indiana Pacers and subsequently released.

In 919 career NBA regular season games (697 starts), Ibaka has averages of 12.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks. He has shot 51.3% from the field, 35.9% from three-point territory, and 75.7% from the charity stripe. Ibaka’s 1,759 career blocks place him 26th in NBA history.

In 2008, Ibaka became the first player born in the Republic of Congo to be selected in the NBA Draft. He also is a citizen of Spain and helped the country win a silver medal in men’s basketball in 2012. Ibaka will turn 35 years old on September 18.


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