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Serge Ibaka exercises $9.7M option with Los Angeles Clippers

Mar 11, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles Clippers center Serge Ibaka (9) is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) as he goes up for a basket in the second half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center Serge Ibaka (9) is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) as he goes up for a basket in the second half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers forward/center Serge Ibaka exercised a player option worth $9.7 million for next season, according to The Athletic.

Ibaka underwent back surgery in June and didn’t play after Game 2 of the Clippers’ first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks.

Ibaka, 31, had missed 30 straight games with the ailing back, but returned for the final two regular-season games and the start of the playoffs.

It was Ibaka’s first season with the Clippers following stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2009-16), Orlando Magic (2016-17) and Toronto Raptors (2017-20). In 41 games (39 starts) for the Clippers in the regular season, Ibaka averaged 11.1 points per game — his lowest average since 2012 — along with 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.

In two playoff games Ibaka totaled 10 points, four rebounds and three blocks in just more than 18 minutes.

Despite losing Ibaka, the Clippers advanced to the Western Conference Finals, losing to the Phoenix Suns in six games.

–Field Level Media