The 75 greatest NBA players of the 2010s, ranked

Stephen Curry, James Harden
Stephen Curry, James Harden / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
33 of 77

44) Serge Ibaka

Former NBA big man Serge Ibaka was one of the better defensive players of the 2010s, though he wasn't recognized as much as he should have been. Ibaka was a key player on the Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder teams and was drafted in 2008 but didn't play until the 2009–10 season. By his second season, he had become a legit problem on the defensive end. 

He averaged 2.4 blocks per game in just 27 minutes, showing that he was a key part of the Thunder's core. From 2010-11 to 14-15—five straight seasons—Ibaka averaged at least 2.4 blocks per game and led the league in that category back-to-back seasons. Ironically, he never won Defensive Player of the Year, instead having to settle for three straight Defensive First Team selections. 

With Ibaka, Oklahoma City made the playoffs six times, the Western Conference Finals four times and the NBA Finals in 2012. Nevertheless, the Thunder opted to trade him ahead of his free agency in the summer of 2016 for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. 

He would be traded shortly after to the Toronto Raptors, where he played a key role on their 2019 championship team, averaging 15 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. With decade averages of 12.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks in 753 games, Ibaka was one of the better big men of the 2010s.