Trail Blazers offer max contract to RFA C Roy Hibbert
Happy free agency everyone! As the clock struck midnight on July 1st, NBA teams have been frantically making the necessary calls to players and agents, Portland being one of the most aggressive this summer. All teams can contact restricted and unrestricted agents but cannot make an official deal until July 11th. Until then, most of the news coming from Trail Blazers camp can be agreements and certain offers can be made during this time.
The free agency 2012 list is headlined by point guard Deron Williams who will either resign with the Brooklyn Nets or sway over to his hometown Dallas Mavericks. Another big story that continues to unveil drama is the Dwight Howard saga, who has officially requested a trade to the Nets. Other names on the Blazers radar include Roy Hibbert, Steve Nash, Ray Allen and Eric Gordon.
While the Blazers are in hot pursuit to bring in big names and can afford large contracts, they will be hearing from plenty of clubs who will want to snatch players such as Nicolas Batum, Raymond Felton, J.J. Hickson, Jamal Crawford and everyone else not named LaMarcus Aldridge. Expect Portland to match any offer that comes Batum’s way as he is a restricted free agent, and the Blazers will lock him up as he is a key piece to their future.
The first big news this morning from the front offices was broke by Sports Illustrated online that Portland struck first at prized Indiana Pacer center Roy Hibbert. They reportedly offered the max allowed, and the Pacers are not looking to match the offer as CBSSports.com reported that the deal is worth $58 million over four years.
According to blazersedge.com,
“The Pacers are already looking at other options at center. They’ve reached to out Omer Asik, who was with Chicago last season. Indy has also reached to Jamal Crawford, who signed with Portland instead of the Pacers last season.
No, that does not mean the Pacers won’t match Portland’s offer to Hibbert. Time will tell on that. Pritchard and Walsh are just doing their job. It’s been a rough few days for Pacers fans. Upset over Plumlee pick, now Hibbert.
Hibbert, 25, just completed his fourth season with the Indiana Pacers, posting career-high averages of 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He played in 65 of Indiana’s 66 games last season.
The Pacers, who advanced to the second round of the 2012 Eastern Conference playoffs after posting the NBA’s fifth best record in 2011-12, have been expected to match any offers made to Hibbert.”
Seeing how Portland won’t be in the running for Howard, Hibbert is the next best guy. I have been a Hibbert fan for awhile and love his play, the Blazers are doing the right thing in attracting him first. If in fact Hibbert signs with the Blazers, it’ll be a sure-fire win for the organization.
Look for plenty of updates in the coming days as many of these articles will be updated.
UPDATE (JULY 2nd 6:30PM) – According to newspapers in Indianapolis, multiple sources within the Pacers organization say we should expect the Pacers to match the Blazers’ offer on RFA C Roy Hibbert. Pacers coach Frank Vogel was quoted by the Indianapolis Star Journal saying “Of course this isn’t going to be [Hibbert’s] last time in Indy, he’s not going anywhere.”
Elsewhere, Chad Ford on ESPN.com wrote earlier that he expects the Pacers to be on the fence of resigning Hibbert, and could be a 51% chance that they would match: “They are really on the fence. If they can find a replacement that they are comfortable with for cheaper, they may let him go. Chris Kaman is coming in today into Indy. Personally I feel that’s a pretty big downgrade, but Larry Bird has been a huge fan of Kaman’s.“