NBA Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers are in a predicament. Roy Hibbert, their starting center, is an unrestricted free agent next summer. Neither side has any long-term interest. Therefore, Lakers are trying to find a playoff team for the big man ahead of the February 18 deadline.
In some ways, it doesn’t matter what Lakers can get in return for Hibbert. Even if Hibbert plays through the season, the two sides are expected to go their separate ways. At least by trading Hibbert before the deadline, they can hope to add a future draft pick or an up-and-coming talent.
The Lakers are expected to throw max deals at the likes of Hassan Whiteside, Al Horford and Joakim Noah. The Purple & Gold could very well land one of those three premier big men.
Hibbert is still viewed as a premier rim protector. There’s no doubt he can help a championship contender with his gritty defense and locker room leadership.
Hibbert, in the final year of his $15.5 million contract, had waived a 15% trade kicker (valued at $2.3 million) to facilitate a move from Indiana to Los Angeles this past off-season. The Pacers were keen to offload Hibbert and start afresh with rookie Myles Turner and Jordan Hill.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Hibbert’s sacrifice this past season, combined with Lakers looking to give more exposure to younger players, has led to the latest inquiry in the trade market. Lakers would rather give the likes of Tarik Black, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. more playing time. Ever since the start of the new year, Hibbert’s playing time has seen a significant decrease.
According to Silver Screen & Roll, the Lakers would be unwilling to give up an asset to facilitate the Hibbert trade. Obviously, it doesn’t make sense for them since Hibbert is on an expiring contract.
Stay tuned for more NBA Trade Rumors.