Jul 9, 2012, 3:07 PM EDT
Roy Hibbert will remain an Indiana Pacer.
It was the only move the Pacers could really make.
The Portland Trail Blazers agreed to offer Roy Hibbert a max extension — four years, $58 million — on July 11. Indiana was torn as to whether or not to match the offer, but they have decided to do so, tweets Mike Wells of the Indy Star.
Is that overpaying for Hibbert? Yes. But bigs get overpaid in the NBA and the Pacers really had no choice.
Indiana is a young team on the rise — Danny Granger, David West, Paul George, Darren Collison. They want some depth and ideally shot creation at the two and are talking to O.J. Mayo (and Courtney Lee).
But it is Hibbert that sets Indy apart from nice to potential up-and-coming contender. Remember how at the start of the second round playoff series against the Heat it was Hibbert and his defense in the paint that had the Heat struggling. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had to adjust and step up their games to get by Indiana. It was a learning experience for the Pacers.
With Hibbert the Pacers are a team to watch. Without him, they are nice but not threatening.
They chose to spend the money to be a team on the rise.
Don’t bet on the Pacers immediately matching, they may wait three days (after July 11 offer) to try and sign a free agent in the interim. Indiana can go over the cap to keep Hibbert (Bird rights).
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