The Magic were a somewhat surprising landing spot for Biyombo in free agency due to the presence of Serge Ibaka and Nikola Vucevic in the frontcourt, but it sounds as though the organization isn't necessarily keen on handing the high-scoring, but defensively limited Vucevic a starting role in 2016-17. The lengthy, high-motor Biyombo offers the sort of energy and shot-blocking presence that Vucevic doesn't provide, and Biyombo's presence in the starting lineup along with Ibaka and Aaron Gordon would likely give the Magic one of the league's most athletic and defensively-imposing frontcourts. We'll have to wait and see if the Magic seriously entertain trading Vucevic over the remainder of the offseason before feeling confident Biyombo will serve in a starting role, but given that the Magic shelled out $72 million over four years in order to get him, it's difficult to imagine Biyombo's role being marginalized in any way.
The financial terms of the deal have not yet been announced; Biyombo will be teaming up with Serge Ibaka to form one of the best shot-blocking frontcourts in the NBA, although Nikola Vucevic will likely continue to start at center in place of Biyombo. Biyombo played in all 82 games of the regular season for Toronto last year, but started just 22. He averaged 4.6 points and 8.0 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 22 minutes per game in that span. In the playoffs, with Jonas Valanciunas hurt, Biyombo was able to play more and showcase his abilities. He averaged 6.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks while playing 31.3 minutes per game in the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Cavaliers, starting every game.
Biyombo has officially opted out of his contract to become a free agent, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Biyombo was expected to do this after his big breakout in the playoffs made his value shoot upwards. The big man should fetch a higher price than his current contract, which could pose problems with Toronto also trying to retain DeMar DeRozan this offseason. Biyombo will also likely lose playing time once regular starting center Jonas Valanciunas returns from his ankle injury, so a new team and guaranteed starting spot could very well be in his sights.
Biyombo will be suspended for the first game of the 2016-17 season after receiving four flagrant fouls during the playoffs, Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com reports.
Biyombo received his fourth flagrant foul during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, when the Raptors were officially eliminated from the playoffs. Biyombo would've served the suspension for Game 7 if the Raptors hadn't been eliminated, but instead, he'll miss the first outing of the 2016-17 campaign. With Jonas Valanciunas missing the majority of the playoffs, Biyombo established himself as a starting caliber player and is expected to get a hefty raise as he enters unrestricted free agency this offseason. He reportedly is willing to take a pay cut to return to the Raptors, but considering the team's first priority is to re-sign DeMar DeRozan, Biyombo will likely end up elsewhere come the start of the new league year.
Biyombo registered five points (2-4 FG, 1-4 FT), 14 rebounds, three blocks and one assist across 42 minutes in Monday's 105-99 Game 4 victory over the Cavaliers.
After snatching a Raptors postseason-record 26 rebounds in the Game 3 win, Biyombo wasn't quite as prolific on the boards Monday, but the team may have needed his defensive efforts more in Game 4, which was a much more competitive contest. Biyombo was at his best down the stretch, blocking a J.R. Smith three-point attempt that would have cut the Raptors' lead to one point, and then grabbing an offensive rebound on his team's subsequent possession in the final minute, which eventually led to a Kyle Lowry bucket. The Raptors kept Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) active for the contest for the first time since Game 3 of the second-round series with the Heat, but Biyombo continued to start while Valanciunas went unused off the bench. Valanciunas could see the court for brief spurts later in the series, but since he's still at less than full strength, Biyombo appears poised to see the lion's share of the minutes at center.
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