San Antonio Spurs: 3 Player-option free agents to monitor in final games

Derrick Jones Jr. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Derrick Jones Jr. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Serge Ibaka (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Serge Ibaka (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

San Antonio Spurs Option 3: Serge Ibaka (LAC)

When he’s been healthy, Serge Ibaka has been a serviceable starting center for the LA Clippers this season. The problem? He’s missed 24 games and counting with a back injury. In his 39 games played, he’s averaged 10.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, both considerably lower numbers than his time in Toronto.

Ibaka has been a thorn in the Spurs’ side in the past, particularly during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder early in his career. In San Antonio, he would bring a much-needed quality: a defensive big that can also stretch the floor on offense. While Luka Samanic could be an option to fill that role in the future, it’s clear Coach Popovich is still working on developing the 21-year-old.

Ibaka is a career 36 percent 3-point shooter and has logged multiple seasons of 38 percent-plus. With a frontcourt of Jakob Poeltl and Drew Eubanks at the moment, the Spurs would be adding another dimension to their offense.

At age 31, Serge would also bring 12 years of NBA experience to a roster that’s only going to get younger. The Clippers will likely want to keep their starting center, but they’ll definitely be a team to watch as the season winds down. If they flame out once again as a top seed in the Western Conference, Ibaka may just want to move on.

Next: No. 2