Fred VanVleet isn't the only player in Toronto's rotation who is going to be a free agent this offseason. An unrestricted free agent himself, it's going to be fascinating to see what Serge Ibaka decides to do.
On one hand, Ibaka is coming off of one of the best seasons of his career. He's not the defender he used to be, but he has turned himself into one of the league's best scorers at his position, someone who can finish strong at the rim and stretch the floor out to the 3-point line.
Even though he's already indicated that he'd like to stay in Toronto, there's a chance that Ibaka will be looking to parlay this season into the type of payday the Raptors can't afford.
On the other hand, Ibaka will turn 31 later this year. As good as he was this season, players at his position tend not to age particularly well, so teams might be hesitant to offer him a long-term contract, especially after what happened the last time he signed a long-term contract.
That's why it's much harder to come up with free agent destinations for Ibaka than it is for VanVleet - not only is it impossible to know whether he'll be looking to cash in or put himself in the best position to contribute to a team that has a chance of winning it all, it remains to be seen how much of a market there is for him or any of the non-Tier 1 free agents.
Even so, there are a few teams other than the Raptors that come to mind as possibilities for Ibaka this offseason, starting with the...
New Orleans Pelicans
Everything the Pelicans do moving forward should be viewed through the lens of how it impacts Zion Williamson.
So how would signing Ibaka impact Williamson?
First things first, Ibaka would provide important spacing.
It's a little concerning that Ibaka shot only 29.0 percent from 3-point range in 2018-19, but he was up to 38.5 percent from the perimeter this season on even greater volume. Assuming he can continue to stretch the floor out to the 3-point line at even an above average rate, his presence would open up the paint for Williamson without sacrificing size.
Secondly, Ibaka would be able to take some pressure off of Williamson as a scorer.
In addition to being a capable shooter, Ibaka is one of the league's better rollers and cutters. The Pelicans would be able to run pick-and-rolls with him as the roller and either Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram as the ball handler while Williamson camps out in the dunker spot. Alternatively, Ibaka could be the one camping out in the dunker spot when Williamson is the one setting screens for Holiday and Ingram. Either way, they wouldn't step on each other's toes.
Finally, Ibaka can guard centres. Not quite at the same level as Marc Gasol or Derrick Favors, both of whom will be unrestricted free agents this offseason, but Ibaka would provide more of a scoring punch than those two while still being able to defend the opposing team's biggest player, allowing Williamson to pick and choose his matchups on defence.
The one problem the Pelicans face is they might not have a lot of money to spend in the offseason. They only have $83.2 million committed to their roster for next season right now, but that's not taking into account the max-level contract Ingram is expected to sign as a restricted free agent. Add that to the equation, plus a lower salary cap, and it limits how much New Orleans can offer someone like Ibaka.