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Clippers forward Serge Ibaka has season-ending back surgery

The Clippers will be without Ibaka for the remainder of 2020-21.

Dallas Mavericks v LA Clippers - Game One
Serge Ibaka of the LA Clippers looks on during the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Round 1, Game 1 of the the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 22, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Serge Ibaka was expected to be a big part of the Los Angeles Clippers’ push to win an NBA championship in 2020-21. Now, the team will have to attempt to attain that goal without him.

Ibaka has undergone season-ending back surgery, according to the team. He appeared in 41 games with Los Angeles, averaging 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. His experience as a playoff veteran and NBA champion was expected to be vital to the Clippers this season.

Ibaka has played in two playoff games for Los Angeles before being sidelined indefinitely. The forward holds a player option for next season and is likely to opt in. Even though he is still able to produce at 31, Ibaka’s recent bout with a back injury might thin out the market for his services.

The Clippers haven’t needed Ibaka to push forward with their championship aspirations, but he would’ve been a nice player to have as the games got bigger.