Report: Pacers “Quietly” Shopping Roy Hibbert

While the Indiana Pacers focus on bringing Lance Stephenson back, they’re also reportedly trying to see whether there’s a trade market for center Roy Hibbert.

According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, the Pacers are quietly figuring out what Hibbert can fetch in a trade:

After a flurry of rumors dating back a little more than a month, there has not been much to speak of when it comes to the possibility of Indiana moving center Roy Hibbert in a trade. But, according to multiple front-office sources, the Pacers have quietly sought out possible new landing spots for their enigmatic big man.

“I would say they’ve been doing that, but quietly,” one front-office source said.

“They’re open to making major changes, if they’re there,” one general manager told Sporting News. “I think they’d be disappointed to see that same core group back intact, so it is a matter of, how drastic can the changes they make be? Moving Hibbert for multiple pieces would be a pretty drastic change, but they’re asking.”

This might be a difficult trade to pull off for the Pacers because Hibbert’s trade value is at an all-time low after a season in which he regressed to averages of 10.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 43.9 percent shooting from the field. The rebounding and field goal percentage are especially concerning. Hibbert went scoreless for several games in the playoffs, and was almost unplayable by the end of the first round against the Atlanta Hawks.

Except, big Roy did finish as a runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year voting, behind Joakim Noah, and Roy’s “verticality” while protecting the basket against a driving opponent became such a factor in Indiana’s defensive dominance, the NBA released their points of emphasis memos.

Hibbert’s also 27 years old and owed $30 million over the next two seasons. Larry Bird would need to find a team that has a hole to fill at center and is willing and able to absorb that kind of salary for the next two seasons. The Dallas Mavericks would have been an potential trade partner, but that is no longer the case after their acquisition of Tyson Chandler.

The Pacers also don’t have anyone who could step in as a starting center in Hibbert’s absence, so a trade would relieve them of Hibbert’s salary but open up another spot to fill.

It sounds like Indiana is still in the exploratory phase of a potential deal involving Hibbert, which makes sense because there probably aren’t a lot of interested suitors at the moment. Perhaps more importantly, there aren’t a lot of offers that would provide the Pacers with a satisfactory return.

What do you think?

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