Kawhi Leonard surprised everybody earlier this week when he assured the media that Serge Ibaka was put on the trade block after hitting him in the face with an elbow. The big man was looking for a rebound when his elbow found Leonard's face. Kawhi needed eight stitches for his wound and a mask to protect his face.
It was an accident, of course, but Kawhi wasn't buying any of that. During a recent press conference, the player made it clear that the Clippers were trying to ship Ibaka away and whoever team was interested in his services should contact the Clips.
“Serge can’t talk too much, we got him on the trading block right now. So whoever wants him, let us know, we’re trying to trade Serge," Kawhi said.
Well, nobody was sure if that was a joke or not, but Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue made sure to shut down any possibility of Ibaka leaving the team right now. Prior to their Friday night showdown against the Utah Jazz, Lue addressed the situation, accepted it was funny but absolutely unlikely.
“That’s off the table. Somebody told me about it today, that’s pretty funny," the head coach said.
Ibaka was the best signing for the Clippers this offseason and getting rid of him so quickly wouldn't be good for the team. They are trying to revenge their past season and Ibaka is expected to play a meaningful role in their quest for the NBA championship. So no, Kawhi was just joking and even if he wanted Ibaka out of the team, Lue already ruled out that possibility.