3 NBA teams that could lure Serge Ibaka away from the Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 14 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 14 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Serge Ibaka, Chicago Bulls: Nikola Vucevic
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 04 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Serge Ibaka is among the eight members of the Milwaukee Bucks that will be eligible to test the waters of NBA free agency this coming offseason.

Ibaka’s brief tenure with the Bucks this past season was an odd one, to say the least. The big man came aboard via a mega-four-team deal at the trade deadline, and after playing a rather clear-cut role early on, he was eventually benched entirely once Brook Lopez returned from his back rehab. Ibaka sat on the sidelines for all but 22 minutes during Milwaukee’s playoff run, which was likely a frustrating experience for the veteran center. As Ibaka now prepares to enter free agency, it is not controversial to say that he is among the Bucks’ impending free agents that are the least likely to return to Milwaukee next season due to how things ultimately unfolded. If Ibaka does leave in NBA free agency, here are three opposing contenders that could be targeting his services.

The Chicago Bulls could lure Serge Ibaka away from the Milwaukee Bucks during NBA free agency

Among the NBA teams that could use a player like Serge Ibaka this offseason is the Chicago Bulls, a Central Division rival of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Defense was a significant issue for the Bulls this past year, especially down low, as they allowed their opponents to tally 49.6 paint points per contest in the regular season, which ranked 22nd in the league, per NBA.com/stats. Their starting center, Nikola Vucevic, is not known for his defensive prowess, so the Bulls should look to improve their interior protection in the frontcourt this coming offseason, and Ibaka could be a seamless fit. The three-time All-Defensive selection and two-time Block Champion has made a living in this league with his defense, and although he is not the great defender that he once was, the 32-year-old still has plenty left to give in the right role, which was on display early on in his tenure with the Bucks. Ibaka would be an immediate upgrade over their current backup center in Tristan Thompson and he would make them more formidable.

Chicago could also be an appealing landing spot for Ibaka in free agency due to his friendship with DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star for the Bulls this past season. The tandem played together with the Toronto Raptors several years ago and still remain close friends to this day, and the idea of reuniting on a team that has some quality pieces in place while simultaneously offering him an actual role could be enticing for Ibaka. That is just speculation, but the Bulls check off the boxes to be a compelling landing spot for the former NBA Champion. It would be interesting to see him stay in the Central Division this offseason and join a rival after a rocky tenure with the Bucks.