Welp! Lakers, Pacers discussing Roy Hibbert trade


Roy Hibbert may be landing in LA, but not with the team many believed he could land with.

The easiest avenue to improve the center position, it doesn’t look like the Clippers will be sign-and-trading for Pacers center Roy Hibbert as Marc Stein of ESPN tweets the Pacers and Lakers are working on a deal that’d land the former All-Star big in purple and gold.

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  • Before this, the Lakers were having an awful off-season outside of the NBA Draft. They missed out on the big names (LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, etc.) and in the process, missed out on smaller free agents that’d help them improve in Year 2 of their rebuild (Ed Davis, Tobias Harris, Robin Lopez, etc.). Like with the Clippers, Hibbert’s ability to cover the paint on the defensive end will be huge for a Lakers team that lacks proven defensive players. Will it improve their chances enough to make the playoffs in the West? Unlikely, but of all available players, none better fit this team (at least on defense; offensive fit is definitely questionable as a core of Russell, Clarkson, and Randle would be best off playing uptempo ball) than Hibbert.

    And with Hibbert comes assets. What the Lakers are doing with this deal, the Philadelphia 76ers have made a living off of through the Sam Hinkie era — add salary that wouldn’t have been used productively otherwise and pile on assets in the process. At this stage in the rebuild, the Lakers are smart to collect as many assets possible, even if it means taking on large chunks of salary in the process. With free agency not playing out in their expected way the last two off-seasons, the possibilities of trading assets for a star (i.e. the rumors for DeMarcus Cousins) could be the team’s lone way of acquiring it’s post-Kobe Bryant superstar.

    Before Stein’s report, a three-team sign-and-trade between Dallas, Los Angeles, and Indiana seemed unlikely to go down as the Mavericks were unwilling to help the Clippers in their time of need.

    "ESPN reported that Dallas would not be inclined to help the Clippers, a Western Conference rival, even after free-agent DeAndre Jordan agreed to leave the Clippers for the Mavericks on Friday. Jordan committed to signing a four-year, $80-million contract with the Mavericks once the moratorium on formal commitments ends Thursday."

    With Hibbert off the market, the best available option for the Clippers as they look for a center to fill in DeAndre Jordan‘s spot is Kosta Koufos, unrestricted free agent, though it’s unclear how they’d land the big man in a sign-and-trade with the Memphis Grizzlies as they lack significant assets to offer.

    From there, names such as Javale McGee, David West, and Kevin Seraphin will emerge as center options. Each mention outside of Koufos is a downgrade in comparison to Hibbert, so if they can’t land the Greek center you can pretty much imagine how things will play out through the rest of the summer.

    A follow-up to Stein’s tweet, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles says the deal will be done after July Moratorium ends.

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