Roy Hibbert averaged 12.8 points per game last season. He was an All Star Center in the Eastern Conference. Hibbert also finished the regular season averaging 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per night. He then elevated those numbers during the playoffs, posting 11.2 and 3.1 respectively. Roy should be paid much more than Omer Asik, but should he be paid as much LeBron? One one hand, he's an extremely rare talent at the center position in today's NBA. On the other, he didn't even average a double-double during the regular season last year.
The Trail Blazers have opened Free Agency by making Roy Hibbert a priority. Portland offered Roy a 4-year contract worth $58 million. He can't officially sign that offer sheet until July 11th. Hibbert is a Restricted Free Agent, which means his Indiana Pacers will have an opportunity to match. Three days to match, to be specific. But should they? Below are five reasons why I think they should, and five reasons why I think they shouldn't.
5 Reasons Why The Pacers SHOULD MATCH Portland's Offer To Roy Hibbert:
1.) There's no way to technically replace Roy Hibbert. There's no other center out there to get. The complexion of your team and offense changes dramatically without Roy. It's not like replacing a shooting guard or small forward. This is a 7-foot center we're talking about here.
2.) The Pacers will take a step back without Roy Hibbert next season. There is no way they don't. Could they be better in three years? Maybe. But next year the Indiana Pacers are not as good of a team as they were this past year without him.
3.) Now, as in next season, would be the best time to load up for a run in the Eastern Conference. Sure, the Miami Heat will be better than they were this past season, but who else is out there? On paper, with Hibbert, I'd argue the Pacers could be the second best team out East. Especially with D-Rose's injury.
4.) Roy Hibbert is the type of person that organizations win with. Since he first came on the scene at Georgetown, he's WORKED to get better every year. That type of work ethic, from your All Star big-man leader, permeates throughout a team. All the young guys after him work because he's working. Tough to let a guy like that go, and/or not reward him for his effort.
5.) Familiarity. He grew up in the franchise. Everybody knows him. I'm not sure there's a thing called the Pacers Way, but if there was he's developed as a player in that mold. He's the leader of your franchise, you gotta make sure he keeps leading it.
5 Reasons Why the Pacers SHOULD NOT MATCH Portland's Offere to Roy Hibbert:
1.) Roy Hibbert doesn't average 15+ points per game. He doesn't average a double-double either. If the guy is such an athletic big, at 7-2, how's he not grabbing 10 rebounds per game?
2.) Hibbert might be worth more to the Blazers. He fills a void at center next to All Star LaMarcus Aldridge. LA doesn't like playing center. He'll make Aldridge better, and he'll be better by playing next to LA too. You're almost paying a premium to acquire that All Star Duo, as opposed to just Roy.
3.) The Pacers have a lot of other good players. David West could be a focal point next season inside. Danny Granger, George Hill, Darren Collison, Paul George; you can get up and down the court with that group. Beat teams in other ways. Maybe you think West, Granger or Hill blow up with more touches.
4.) You'd get worse without Roy Hibbert, but could you technically get any better? While an All Star, is he a championship, dominating-caliber big man that can lead you to an NBA Title? Or even close to one like Patrick Ewing did? Maybe not.
5.) They just drafted Mason Plumlee. Okay, I'm kidding. But what if you wanted to change your style of play, to better fit the total collection of your personnel. Roll with guys like Plumlee and Hansbrough at center, and try to run teams out of the gym. They'd still be about 10-deep even without Roy, right?
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