Roy Hibbert, Blazers Reach Verbal Agreement

THURSDAY 5:35pm: The Pacers have yet to decide whether they will match the Trail Blazers' max offer sheet to Hibbert, reports David Aldridge of (on Twitter).

SUNDAY 1:28pm: The Blazers and Hibbert have reached a verbal agreement, and the big man will sign an offer sheet with Portland on July 11th, says Joe Freeman of the Oregonian. The Pacers will then have three days to match the offer.

2:54am: Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey and president Larry Miller kicked off free agency by visiting Roy Hibbert in D.C., tweets's Sam Amick. According to Amick, the Blazers' pursuit of Hibbert was serious — the team offered the center a maximum-salary contract. One other team offered Hibbert a max deal, Amick tweets, but it wasn't the Pacers, and the 25-year-old is now leaning toward the Blazers unless Indiana matches.

Of course, because Hibbert is a restricted free agent, he can't sign outright with Portland or another non-Indiana team. But he could sign an offer sheet with the Blazers, which would give the Pacers three days to either match the offer or let him walk. Everything we've heard so far this offseason has suggested Indiana will match offers for Hibbert, though given the team's cap flexibility, the Pacers probably would have preferred not to have to max out for him.

In order to make a maximum-salary offer to Hibbert, the Blazers will have to renounce a number of their free agents to clear the necessary cap space. Assuming the maximum salary stays the same in 2012/13 as it was this past season, Hibbert would be eligible for a first-year salary of just under $13MM.


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