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Report: Raptors acquire Serge Ibaka in trade with Magic

Report: Raptors acquire Serge Ibaka in trade with Magic

The top of the Eastern Conference looks different this morning after a trade sent Serge Ibaka to Toronto. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, the Raptors traded Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round pick to the Magic in exchange for Ibaka.

TNT's David Aldridge reports that the move was percolating for weeks. 

The Raptors acquired Ibaka to fill a pressing need in their frontcourt for a playoff run this year. The team currently ranks 27th in the league in defensive rebounding and 23rd in overall rebounding. Ibaka is also a reliable scoring option, averaging 15.1 points per game so far this season.

It's debatable how much Orlando really lost in the exchange considering that Ibaka's contract was set to expire after this season and the team has no assurances that he would re-sign. 

Toronto pulled off the deal after having fallen from the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference earlier this season to No. 5. The team owns a 4-6 record in the last 10 games, well below the Celtics' and Wizards' 9-1 marks in that span.

This trade is the first major piece to move ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 23. 

MORE WIZARDS: John Wall enters MVP territory in domination of Thunder

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Watch Rui Hachimura’s shutdown block

Watch Rui Hachimura’s shutdown block

Rui Hachimura continued his dominance in international friendlies Saturday as he put up 31 points and five rebounds in a winning effort over Germany.

After a highlight-reel performance in Thursday's loss to Argentina, Hachimura was back at it two days later.

That block at the 37-second mark is just filthy. It would also be goaltending in the NBA, but FIBA rules allow players to touch the ball at pretty much any time once it's made contact with some part of the hoop. Nevertheless, the athleticism to make this play is what stands out.

But Hachimura wasn't finished.

He looks more like Steph Curry leading that breakaway, dribbling behind his back and finishing at the rim himself than a 6-foot-8 forward.

With the international friendly schedule at its end, Japan will tip off the 2020 FIBA World Cup on Sunday, Sept. 1 against Turkey. After a matchup with the Czech Republic, Hachimura and Japan will take on his future NBA opponents when they face the United States on Sept. 5.

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Maryland native Quinn Cook tells the behind-the-scenes story of his road to the Lakers

Maryland native Quinn Cook tells the behind-the-scenes story of his road to the Lakers

Before he joined the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a blockbuster summer that saw them land Anthony Davis, before he won the NBA Finals as a role player with the Golden State Warriors, and before he averaged double-digit scoring and won the NCAA tournament at Duke, Quinn Cook was a star point guard at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md.

Cook was in town this week for his fourth annual youth basketball camp at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover. NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller sat down with the former Stag, who he’s known since the now-Lakers guard was 14 years old, on the Wizards Talk podcast.

Miller talked with Cook about why he feels connected to kids in the local community and what it was like losing his father as a teenager. One of his closest friends is fellow DeMatha product Victor Oladipo, who helped him get through the loss of his father Ted when he died suddenly in 2008 after going into a coma following a colon procedure.

“My best friend Norman and Victor, their parents took them out of school, and they were with me for two weeks,” Cook said. “At the funeral, [head coach Mike] Jones had the entire DeMatha basketball program…come to the funeral and all sit together [with] their uniforms on.”

Cook also went on to talk about his time at Duke, the viral video in which he convinced some people at the mall he was J Cole and his obsession with winning before going into how he landed in Los Angeles this offseason.

“When Golden State withdrew their qualifying offer, I became unrestricted and had some teams call me and the Lakers thing, it just happened quick,” Cook said. “I had talks with them, AD called me, [LeBron James] called Rob Palinka for me, and Coach K called them, talked to Bron and stuff and we got it done.”

Check out the full podcast below and listen to Miller talk hoops every week on the Wizards Talk podcast.

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