Serge Ibaka exercises player option to remain with LA Clippers

Veteran big man Serge Ibaka has chosen to exercise his player option for the 2021-22 season.

The LA Clippers have an important offseason ahead after they made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Clippers have received some insurance from a player who exercised their player option. And no, it is not Kawhi Leonard.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, forward/center Serge Ibaka has exercised his $9.7 million player option to remain with the Clippers heading into the 2021-22 season. Ibaka had until Sunday, Aug. 1, to exercise his player option.

Clippers: Serge Ibaka exercises player option for 2021-22 season

Ibaka joined the Clippers last offseason on a two-year, $18.9 million contract after becoming a free agent. The signing saw Ibaka reunite with his former teammate in Leonard, whom he won an NBA title in their lone season together on the Toronto Raptors.

The big man missed a good chunk of the season due to lower back tightness, limiting him to 41 regular-season games. Through the regular season, Ibaka averaged 11.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 blocks a night while shooting 51 percent from the field.

Ibaka suited up for the Clippers’ first two games of their first-round matchup against the Dallas Mavericks. He was not active for the remainder of their playoff run due to back spasms and subsequently underwent season-ending back surgery in mid-June.

The Clippers are looking to make a run to the NBA Finals for the first time in their franchise’s history next season after falling short against the Phoenix Suns. While Ibaka opting in is good news for the Clippers, the fanbase will be waiting to see what Leonard chooses to do this summer.

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