The Los Angeles Lakers came in to NBA Free Agency with high hopes, a large wishlist, and all the cap space to do it.
Free Agency Failure
LaMarcus Aldridge was at the top of that list, and the Lakers did all they could to bring in the former Portland Trail Blazers big man. However, Aldridge wasn't happy with the Lakers pitch and ended up choosing the San Antonio Spurs as the team for him.
The Lakers lost out, and now it seems they are going to a Plan B. And it is a bit of a shock. Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers.
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Roy's the Boy
According to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers will be sending the Indiana Pacers a couple of second round picks to acquire two-time All-Star Roy Hibbert to fill the void at the five.
"Sources told ESPN.com that the teams are still discussing the final framework of the deal but have committed to a swap that will see Hibbert absorbed into the Lakers' salary-cap space after they missed out on all of their primary free-agent targets," they wrote.
The move is definitely a gamble for the Lakers, but it is one that they desperately need to take. Only the Timberwolves had a worse defense last year and by bringing in one of the league's best rim protectors, L.A will at least be better in the post and under the rim.
Pacers president Larry Bird has wanted Hibbert gone for a while and this had been coming. In fact, former Pacers forward David West says one of the reasons he decided to leave Indiana was because of the way Bird treated his teammate, trying to force Hibbert to op-out of his contract.
"That's one thing where I wish they would have handled better was the situation with Roy. I'll be honest with you, that bothered me a little bit, and I told Roy that," West said.
The 28-year old Hibbert averaged 10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 76 games for the Pacers last year. Hibbert had spent his entire seven-year career with the Pacers after they took him with the 17th overall pick in the 2008 draft. He was named an All-Star in 2012 and 2014.