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Kevin Durant is very happy for Serge Ibaka

Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Serge Ibaka

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James is blocked by Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) from Republic of Congo as small forward Kevin Durant (35) helps during the second half at Game 2 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 14, 2012, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Serge Ibaka is making Al Horford money. He is making Joakim Noah money.

Ibaka’s new four year, $48 million contract puts him up there with those All-Stars, he is making basically what they are.

And Kevin Durant couldn’t be happier for him, he told the Oklahoman.

“I’m happy for him. He deserves every penny. He worked his way up. He was unknown coming into the league. A lot of people didn’t really know what he could do on the court. He showed everybody from Day One that he could play and I’m just excited he’s here in Oklahoma City for four more years.”

Or, you can read that as “I’m happy he’s covering my backside on defense for four more years.”

But Durant is right, Ibaka has worked hard to get to this spot, to get that contract. He has gone from obscurity to runner-up defensive player of the year status. He’s as good a shot blocker and rim protector as the game has. I don’t think he’s ready for DPOY the past couple years because his defense in space and on the pick-and-roll is not special (and it is for guys like Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler) but the way Ibaka improves he is going to get there. Fast.

And clearly the Thunder see him as part of their success, as part of their title chances. So GM Sam Presti signed him to a healthy contract. Which made Durant happy, too.