The Toronto Raptors tried to keep both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol this offseason, which might actually explain whey they lost both frontcourt players in free agency.

Michael Grange of Sportsnet reports Ibaka had interest in returning to Toronto even with the knowledge he would likely have to accept a one-year deal.

However, the Raptors lowballed Ibaka with their offers, in part because they still wanted to save space to re-sign Gasol. According to Grange, the desire to also retain Gasol bothered Ibaka:

But the Raptors’ first offer – about $12 million for the 2020-21 season – was below what he was expecting and while Toronto came up to $14 million, they were still trying to keep some powder dry to pursue Gasol. That didn’t go over well with Ibaka who, according to multiple sources, resented having to play behind the Spanish international and wasn’t going to sign on for a shared role again. Ibaka quickly pivoted to the Los Angeles Clippers and their two-year deal for $19 million.

Both Gasol and Ibaka had tremendous importance to the franchise in the last two years, but Toronto might have been better off simply focusing on re-signing Ibaka.

Gasol, to his credit, is one of the best passing bigs in basketball. He can also space the floor and still plays stellar defense, even if he’s not quite at Defensive Player of the Year levels anymore. But his offensive upside is limited in comparison to Ibaka, who averaged a career-high 15.4 points per game last year and also shot 38.5 percent from beyond the arc.

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Considering the Raptors currently rank 29th out of 30 teams in terms of offensive rating, Ibaka would have provided much-needed frontcourt scoring, particularly with Pascal Siakam struggling to start the season.

Instead, the Raptors were punished for trying to spread the wealth around.