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Serge Ibaka returning to Bucks via one-year deal

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Free agent big man Serge Ibaka is returning to the Milwaukee Bucks on a one-year deal, league sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Ibaka arrived in Milwaukee in the 2021-2022 midseason as part of a multi-team trade between the Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and the Detroit Pistons.

Suiting up for the Bucks in the second half of the last regular season, he recorded an average of 7.0 points, 5.3 boards in 51 percent shooting as an insurance center for Brook Lopez who healed from his back surgery.

But Ibaka wasn’t able to grab much playing time during the 2022 postseason upon Lopez’ active play amid his recovery from the injury.

The veteran is poised to serve as a reliable backup for the Bucks’ deep frontcourt haul that already features Lopez, Bobby Portis and superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo for the next season.

Milwaukee also regained the return of Portis, Jevon Carter, and Wes Matthews in this offseason’s free agency market.