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Report: Trail Blazers offer Roy Hibbert max deal. Expect Pacers to match.

Jul 1, 2012, 11:26 AM EDT

Roy Hibbert AP

True NBA big men are hard to find. And the simple economic theory of supply and demand applies.

Roy Hibbert is a 25-year-old All-Star true NBA center who averaged 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds a game, but showed his real value in the playoffs when his length really bothered Dwyane Wade and LeBron James on their drives into the paint and forced those two to step it up to come from behind on the Pacers.

Portland wants an anchor like that next to LaMarcus Aldridge and in the opening hours of free agency has made a max-offer to Hibbert, reports Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated.

A source with knowledge of the meeting said Indiana did not offer a max deal at the outset of the free-agent negotiating period and, unless that changes, Hibbert is leaning toward signing the Trail Blazers’ four-year, $58 million offer sheet. The Pacers would then have three days to match the offer and retain the 25-year-old All-Star.

In addition, the source said one other team, which was not named, also offered Hibbert a max deal after the start of free agency on Sunday at 12:01 a.m. ET. Players cannot officially sign contracts until July 11.

The Pacers either will up their offer to the max or match the Portland offer. It may be overpaying Hibbert a little, but general manager Kevin Pritchard (who was with Portland) has no choice. In an East where teams are going small to win (hello Miami, Boston) Hibbert is the one matchup nightmare that can give the Pacers hope. With Hibbert, the Pacers had the third best record in the East last season and put a scare in the Miami Heat (and they can add shooting guard this summer and be a real threat as the young Pacers continue to improve). Without Hibbert the Pacers are a fighting for playoff scraps, stuck in the middle of the league and scaring nobody.

Unless you think the Pacers can draw a huge free agent score like Deron Williams to Indiana. Exactly. They have to sign Hibbert.

Indiana had to know this was likely coming. Most people expect them to match. Now they know what they will have to pay.

  1. 69jaredallen69 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Only about 10hrs behind news breaking…good deal for Hibbert but not worth it

    • bparmalee - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      I agree. I’m a Pacers fan…I like Roy but I don’t love him. This is the small market team trap. They have to over pay for every decent player because they can never attract big name free agents. This why constantly throwing away our draft picks is so annoying.

      • kinggw - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        How is this a small market trap? The Pacers only have $31M committed to next year’s cap not including Hibbert. A max deal is overpaying for Hibbert but big men are always overpaid.

        If a team is good players will go there. Im tired of this excuse making from fans of “small market” teams. San Antonio, OKC, and Miami are all small markets and attractive destinations for players. There will always be a few guys who want the glitz and glamour of a big city. There are just as many guys who would bypass that for a chance to play on a winning team regardless of the location.

      • bparmalee - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        Miami might be considered a small market but it’s Miami so it’s nightlife and weather is a draw for free agents. Name the last big name free agent to sign with a “small market team” that wasn’t already under contract with that team??? I’ll wait. It just doesn’t happen. Big name players do not go to smaller markets no matter what the situation is. You don’t hear anyone saying trade me to OKC do you? San Antonio built through the draft and timely trades. They draft Duncan,Robinson,Ginobili and Parker. They haven’t made any big free agent signings outside out their own guy Duncan. Small market teams have an edge in resigning their guys because they are comfortable, can offer more money…etc but they do not get top tier free agents. When guys move they go to the same 5-7 teams. This even extends to lower level free agents who end up being overpaid by smaller markets to get them to commit. In Hibberts case I understand teams overpay for size but the Pacers are forced into matching because no top free agent is demanding a trade to Indy (no I don’t consider David West a top free agent…and we over paid to get him)…or OKC.

  2. professoressadiesel - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Thank you Owners for driving up the market yet again.

    • blueintown - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      I’m sure the players really hate it when the owners do that.

  3. Gordon - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Mac deal for this guy? He’s a very solid player, but not a max contact guy.

    NBA owners do this all the time, then almost immediately regret it (Vince Carter, Joe Johnson, etc.).

  4. bowmanj35 - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    as a blazer fan I would love to get Hibbert even if it is max. he’s young and certainly seems like hes getting better each year. of course he’d probably oden us and blow out a knee…. maybe they should just match in Indy….

  5. truthhurtstoo - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    He was a knat a times but Wade and LeBron had their way with him… and will again next season.

    • duane888 - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      I remember Wade abusing him in the paint late in the series, and they had to sit him down for being ineffective.

  6. readysethike - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    free agency is so exciting.. I think the pacers will match…imagine the backkash from Indy fans if they don’t…

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    The word I’m thinking of to describe this contract….. Albatross

  8. isujames - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    If Hibbert is not a max deal guy, don’t sign him.Someone will offer him a max deal and if thats what he wants, he will take it.Thats how it works and furthermore if any of us was in his situation, we would do the same.

    • professoressadiesel - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      You can’t possibly think Hibbert is a Max guy. 12 and 8 aren’t Max numbers.

      This is the stuff that leads to lockouts.

  9. zblott - Jul 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Complete rundown of all the Centers & Forwards in free agency:

    http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2012/6/30/free-agency-primer-forwards-centers.html

  10. dgforreal - Jul 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I knew he was leaving ever since Entertainment 720 folded.

  11. nvandy42 - Jul 1, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    He may have bothered Lebron and Wade a little, but he also largely dissapeared statistically throughout the series against the Heat. If I was the Pacers I’d offer a max deal tp Eric Gordon and if NOLA matches (which they should), then sign Hibbert. I’d rather spend max money on an offensive spark plug and future of the 2 guard spot in the NBA than a center.

  12. zzr600guy - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Hibbert is a good young center and those are hard to find. He isn’t dominant, but his position is a premium and he’ll get overpaid because of it. I hope the Pacers can retain him bcuz they’re a couple good role players away from knocking off Miami.

  13. diamondmo33 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    He ain’t worth it

  14. merchie89 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    He may not be worth max but I think them giving Batum a big extension would be unwise. Batum needs to be sign and traded for a backup 3 and with Hibbert they need a starting SF and still 15 million in cap space.

  15. 00maltliquor - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    How is being the 5th best team record-wise in a league of 30 teams this year considered middle of the pack?

  16. fanz928 - Jul 2, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Hibbert not worth that much most of the centers with potential has hops and can run the floor and hibbert just lack those but still overall a good solid center and has a nice post game

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