NBA Rumors: Serge Ibaka & Eastern Contender Have "Mutual Interest"

The Indiana Pacers acquired veteran center Serge Ibaka in a trade deadline deal last Thursday, but had no intention of actually playing him, and waived him over the weekend. Now, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, the Miami Heat have interest in Ma Fuzzy Chef, and the feeling is mutual.

Ibaka, 33, has interest in joining the Heat if he’s bought out, and there’s also some level of interest from the Heat’s side.

The Heat have a need for a big, after sending former backup center Dewayne Dedmon to the San Antonio Spurs in a deadline deal. He has since been waived, and today agreed to sign on with a rival of the Heat in the Eastern Conference. 

Miami now has two open roster spots, and additionally, backup center Orlando Robinson is on a two-way contract so is only eligible to stay with the Heat for a handful more of games. The other backup big, Omer Yurtseven, is recovering from ankle surgery in November. He's expected to make his season debut shortly after the All-Star break later this month. 

Ibaka is a 14-year NBA veteran and former champion, whose minutes and effectiveness have dwindled significantly in the past couple of years. He left the Bucks last month after he was dropped completely out of their rotation, waiting on a trade to a new situation. He was averaging 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11 minutes per game. His career numbers are 12 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game.

Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports