RFA Roy Hibbert’s four-year, max offer sheet from Portland is worth $58.4M. Pacers center leaning that way. Indy has three days to match.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 1, 2012
The news is coming fast and furious.
The Blazers are trying to create a twin-towers situation in Portland with Hibbert and LaMarcus Aldridge. Both players are versatile bigs, but Aldridge prefers to play further out, while Hibbert operates mostly from the block.
Indiana’s offense often worked quite well running through Hibbert, and he’s still got plenty of room for improvement. The Blazers, meanwhile, have the cap space to make this signing and bring back Nicolas Batum. They have their two draft picks (PG Damian Lillard at #6 and C Myers Leonard at #11).
Indiana has hinted that they’d match most offers for Hibbert, but we’ll have to wait and see if they’lll go all the way to the max for him. They have room to do it, and losing him would be a big blow to a team that is up-and-coming.
My guess is they match it. This might be a case of Portland trying to pull the “make the restricted guy an offer that might be too rich for his team’s blood.” That sometimes works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
The official offer for Hibbert can’t be made for another couple of weeks, so Indiana has time to think about it. But Indiana is not in a position to rebuild. They don’t want to take a step backwards.