Roy Hibbert Will Remain a Pacer

There has been much speculation as to whether or not the Pacers would match Portland’s max offer to Roy Hibbert. Speculate no further. The big fella is staying in Indiana, according to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.

The Pacers are matching Portland’s 4-year, $58 million offer to Roy Hibbert, according to a source

There is a little confusion perhaps on whether or not the Pacers are technically “matching” anything, however.

Wells is reporting that Hibbert is already in Portland and will sign the offer sheet as soon as possible (which would be 12:01 am on July 11). If that’s the case, the Pacers would match that 4-year/$58.4 million deal and retain Roy under restricted free agency rules. By contrast, NBA reporter David Aldridge says that the Pacers instead are just going to sign Hibbert outright to a deal of the exact same terms.

Indy, per source, will give Hibbert the same terms that Portland was ready to give in offer sheet, & so won’t technically “match” the sheet.

If true, this makes some sense — especially for the Pacers but also for Hibbert somewhat.

Let’s start with Roy. He has obviously become a huge fan favorite what with the creation of his Area 55 cheering section in The Fieldhouse, his gentle giant persona and his cameos on Parks and Recreation. If he just signs with Indiana directly instead of going through the charade of pretending he might end up in Portland, it saves a few headlines saying that he preferred to play for the Blazers. The stipulations governing restricted free agency aren’t exactly rocket science but some casual fans don’t really pay attention to them so him signing Portland’s offer sheet first could create some minor confusion among a fanbase that generally adores him. It wouldn’t be anything serious and would be entirely forgotten within a week, but David Falk — Hibbert’s agent — is a savvy guy who may want to avoid any possible negative press about his client. And if it’s all a technicality anyway, perhaps just sign with Indiana and cut out the middleman.

As for the Pacers, the timing of when they actually ink Hibbert and George Hill to a new deal matters. Until they actually sign them, they have a significant amount of room (roughly $10 million) left under the salary cap to sign another contributor. Once they re-sign those two, almost all of that room disappears. They may have no intention of spending much else after re-signing these two, but the longer they wait, the more flexibility they do have if another player they like becomes available at a price point they’re comfortable. Then again, obviously Hibbert and Hill’s agents don’t want to just sit around twiddling their thumbs all week while their clients’ financial futures hang in the balance of a handshake agreement. They’re going to want to get it on paper sooner rather than later, but since their clients also presumably have a vested interest in helping Donnie Walsh and Kevin Pritchard make this roster better, perhaps they will give them a few extra days.

Or not. You can’t really fault or praise anyone involved either way.

This is mostly semantics. however.

The biggest question — literally and figuratively — of the Pacers offseason has been answered: Roy Hibbert isn’t going anywhere.

UPDATE: With the moratorium over and the official NBA audit done, it looks like the max, four-year deal for players of Roy’s tenure has changed slightly. Aldridge is now reporting that Hibbert, like Brook Lopez, will get $60.8 million over four years.

Deal is $60.8M/4 yrs. Bobcats had committed to offer sheet; Nets gave Lopez similar contract to avoid having to match. Same as Indy/Hibbert.

This doesn’t materially change much obviously, but, if correct, does mean the big fella is taking home roughly an extra $500k per season.

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