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Thunder agree to terms with Serge Ibaka on four-year extension

Aug 18, 2012, 2:50 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets - Game Three Getty Images

Update 5:51 p.m. ET Saturday:  The Thunder have announced the signing as official. Sam Presti held a call to congratulate everyone… before he left to get married. Dude signed his power forward to a four-year extension on his wedding day. Those guys are machines


Well, that didn’t take long.

Yahoo Sports reports that the Oklahoma City Thunder have reached an agreement with forward Serge Ibaka on a four-year extension. The deal is reportedly for four-years, $48 million. That puts it as the same value the Brooklyn Nets signed considerably older and less impressive at this stage Gerald Wallace to this summer.

The extension is relevant on multiple levels. First, it means that Ibaka will not hit the market as a restricted free agent next summer and that the core of Durant and Westbrook have a defense-first shot blocker who can finish at the rim and hit the mid-range is intact. Ibaka finished second in Defensive Player of the Year votes this season and took another step forward in his development on both ends. Locking him up to a long-term extension saves them the grief of having to deal with questions about it for the forseeable future.

But that’s ignoring the bearded, Hello-Kitty-backpack-wearing elephant in the room, isn’t it?

The obvious turn here will be in regards to how it affects James Harden. Harden is also scheduled for restricted free agency next summer and there’s been rampant speculation about whether Oklahoma City can afford to keep both Ibaka and Harden. So you’re going to get bombarded with talk of how the Thunder are going to shop James Harden. Don’t buy in, until you hear from reputable sources on the matter. Clay Bennett has spoken in the past about a willingness to spend into the luxury tax to keep a winning team together. The Thunder are the very model of a winning team. Harden has expressed a desire to stay in Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant strongly wants him back. The Thunder may simply elect to keep those four players, deal with the luxury tax implications, and figure out the rest as they go.

Or they could trade him.

There’s just no way to tell.

But Oklahoma City made a bold decision late Friday night to commit to a future with Ibaka, which doesn’t preclude a future with Harden, but it makes the road tougher. We’ll pass along an update with contract details when they get leaked/ are available.

  1. 00maltliquor - Aug 18, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    That’s great! I’m a Laker fan and the Thunder are our biggest roadblock but this is cool. I love stacked teams and this is one of the most exciting teams out there. I love the competition, and I’m not scared in the least bit. Now hopefully they can lock down Harden, the way this team was built is just fantastic.

    • saint1997 - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      Hang on one second. Did a Laker fan just make a post without insulting every other team in the league and PRAISING the good competition we have in the NBA? Surely not!

    • loungefly74 - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

      way to set the pace taking the high road, Malt…kudos. yeah, as a sports fan in general, i like competitive games. sure, its nice seeing your team dominate and destroy everyone in their path but there is nothing like a good fight (2010 NBA Finals is a prime example)

      personally, i dont know if OKC can afford harden but we will see…

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:39 PM

        What’s even better is watching your team dominate and destroy aaaand crush the dreams of a real big powerhouse, that way there is NO debate on who’s the alpha of the league!
        Bring on the competition boys!!! Lakeshow!

  2. 00maltliquor - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:04 AM

    Or as a desperation move to keep Harden, they could amnesty Kendrick Perkins’ overvalued behind and shake free of what would be a 2 year 17.6 million dollar contract at the begining of next year. Believe me, no one is gonna miss those 5 pts., 6 reb. a night (“But it’s not all about stats when it comes to Perkins, malt’…he does all the intangibles…provides tough D, boxes out, sets monster screens, sets the tone on D, blah blah blah” aaaaahhhhh save it!).

    I think they are secretly already embracing that idea, look at all the bigs they got right now behind him. All young with potential, waiting to take his spot if even one apple out the bunch developes into something decent…Perry Jones III, former lottery pick Cole Aldrige, former #2 Hasheem Thabeet ( I know, don’t laugh!), and late 1st rounder with potential Daniel Orton. All it takes is for one of those guys to show that they got something and it’s adios Perkins, hello extra $ to give Harden what he craves…a bloated contract.

    • jolink653 - Aug 18, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      I was thinking the same thing on Perkins…I like him but he has absolutely no offensive game and he gets into foul trouble way too fast and way too often…I’d like to keep him but definitely not at the expense of losing James Harden…Don’t hold your breath on Aldritch he’s pretty terrible and I’m still angry they traded Eric Bledsoe away to get him and Thabeet is an interesting piece seeing as how he was a dominant center at UConn and then a major bust in Memphis and Houston…Hopefully he can get some coaching and regain some of his college form…Loved the PJ III pick and I think Orton can be a solid player so they’re set up for the future as long as they can keep the core of KD, Westbrook, Ibaka, and Harden together

    • loungefly74 - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:22 PM

      Malt said ” (“But it’s not all about stats when it comes to Perkins, malt’…he does all the intangibles…provides tough D, boxes out, sets monster screens, sets the tone on D, blah blah blah” aaaaahhhhh save it!).”

      …my girlfriend was wondering why i laughed out of no where. oh man…that is hilarious. yep, agree, “intangibles” are valuable but not worth 2y/17 mil…

      your 2 posts remind me of an old T.I. song…

  3. rickyspanish - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:37 AM


    Burnin the midnight oil? That back and forth with yourself was a good read. You’re right, no one is going to miss Perkins’ stats, he is an overrated turd and can go suck an egg.

  4. Eric Stafford - Aug 18, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    Don’t think they’ll amnesty perkins solely for the fact that he has shown the ability to guard Dwight 1 on 1.

  5. isujames - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    Woopty doo the block no low post offense man inks a 4 year deal.

  6. ufullpj - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Well, the rumors here in OKC are that they’re also putting the finishing touches on Harden’s deal as well. There’s no doubt they’ll spend the money, because they realize the ROI from keep the core of this team together. Smart move.

  7. chadinkc30 - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Love the age of the young Thunder, but with the Lakers ADDING Howard & Nash, you must be adding talent & not just relying on young players to get better! Nash, Howard, Jamison > getting one year older Thunder

    • mnsportsfan - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Players get bigger, strong and faster as they hit their prime, not the other way around.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        And stars either past their prime, or dealing with major injuries/surgeries, do not get better and are more likely to get hurt. Lot of LA fans are counting their chickens before the eggs hatch.

  8. theboysofdallas - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    I think that’s too much money for him

  9. magicbucs - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Nash isn’t getting any better. Neither is Kobe. Howard might get better offensively , maybe. OKC core is young but will continue to get better for the next 4-5 seasons. By then LA will only have Howard. Jamison? Really? You call that ADDING talent hahaha. Great joke! F. LA

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:28 PM

      Hey, when you have Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy as your backup PF from the previous season, Antawn Jamison starts to look like Dirk Nowitski!! LOL

      Horrible analogy, but it’s like choosing to eat at an authentic Mexican resturaunt vs. eating Taco Bell for dinner. No comparison. (Right? Right? We’re all agreence that authentic Mexican food is far superior then Taco Bell, right?)

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM

      And why is it F. LA? C’mon bro! I would say F ORL but I LOVE ORL! You guys keep farm raising our franchise centers for us! BAAAAAH! Keep ’em coming!

  10. phillyphil005 - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    OkC’s team is built better than any team currently…don’t forget they have Manor coming back too.

    Their roster is perfectly assembled to handle the likes of LA…plenty of toughness and size down low, and the impossible to guard young guns to run those geezers ragged. And don’t forget The Beard killing them off the bench.

    Nice try, LA, but OKC is a truly complete team that is not even at their peak yet…your hodgepodge of guys on their last legs and a offensively challenged superstar bigman aren’t good enough for this team…they are special, and will dominate this year and many more years.

  11. asublimeday - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Called it before and ill call it again: the Bulls are going to offer Harden a poison-pill deal in free agency that the thunder can’t match.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      You. Have zero evidence for that, and it requires Harden hitting free agency first. Ibaka now isn’t and Harden may not. If your prediction proves to be true, however, then best of luck to the Bulls and Harden.

    • letangusespertplus - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      he wont hit free agency. you’re an idiot.

  12. chadinkc30 - Aug 18, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Adding players to make your team better is a bad thing? Two of these players Howard & Nash, arent just ok additions. You are all delusional to believe Kobe & Nash are just old and washed up & will just overall fall to garbage. I’ll trust getting the best big man in the game, & one of the best point guards in history of the NBA, a 17 ppg 6th man, more than I’ll trust just assuming these playerst ge

  13. passerby23 - Aug 18, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    As good as LA is on paper, they have a number of things to worry about. One thing I wonder about is if Nash were to go down. It completely changes the team dynamic. Does it then become the Kobe show? Welcome to iso-ville where Kobe jacks up shots against double teams, while two great bigs stand around and watch. That’s a scenario where I could see Gasol and Howard getting frustrated and not involved.

    Putting Steve Nash on Westbrook is still a nightmare matchup for the Lakers, and they still don’t have anyone who can stop Durant. I still feel like Howard is the difference maker who will be there waiting at the rim for all that penetration.

    Ibaka, good signing by the Thunder. I like that they want to nip this in the bud early before it becomes an issue next summer.

  14. chadinkc30 - Aug 18, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    If you are saying that Howard “might” get better, then you could say the same thing about every young player OKC has. That is my point, OKC is banking on getting better with keeping the young core. The same core that looked out of sorts in the Finals. Are we supposed to forget about that? Are we supposed to assume Westbrook turns into a point guard? Not trying to talk smack on the young small market Thunder, just have questions on whether or not this is the way to go going forward. It’s not like this team gels together tremendously. Durant & Westbrook are iffy together, but just my opinion.

  15. freemantowilliams - Aug 18, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Hats off to the guy with one of the best NBA nicknames. The SERGE PROTECTOR!

  16. lakerluver - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    @magicbucs, dude, don’t be so silly. Can’t you see the writing on the wall? The LAKERS franchise is run brilliantly. In 2-3 years Nash, Kobe, Pau and I also think Metta’s contracts will all come off the books. The LAKERS will then build the team around a 29 yr old D12 and another elite free agent or two. For the next 3 seasons the LAKERS can compete for titles with this core regardless of their age. Even now Kobe is still the top sg in the league, Pau is a top 3 pf and Nash is a top 5-6 pg. The LAKERS will have the best starting 5 in the league next season. The team OKC beat last season in five games will be dramatically better next season.

  17. lakerluver - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    How do we know for sure OKC will get much better? Sure, Durant will probably get better. But will Westbrook become a better pg? Will Serge get better offensively? Will Harden get better? Or is what we saw in the Finals the real him? OKC fans just automatically assume their team will get better with experience. We have seen examples of young teams in every sport that we assumed would get better, get back to the championship and ultimately win a title. But sometimes it doesn’t happen that way. Anybody remember the Portland Trailblazers with Drexler, Terry Porter, Duckworth, etc.? How about Jim Kelley’s Buffalo Bills? Different sport but the comparison works.

  18. chargersallday17 - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:48 PM


  19. chargersallday17 - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:23 PM


  20. congocash - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Okc should have tried to get howard…

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