Pacers Re-Sign Roy Hibbert

FRIDAY, 2:01pm: The Pacers have officially re-signed Hibbert, the team announced in a press release. Since the Blazers never signed Hibbert to an offer sheet, Indiana may have added an extra year or a little more money to its offer, but for now we'll assume the big man's deal is for four years and about $58.37MM.

MONDAY, 2:21pm: It sounds as if the Pacers will sign Hibbert outright to the same terms he would've received from Portland, rather than matching an offer sheet, tweets TNT's David Aldridge. If Hibbert doesn't officially sign the Blazers' offer sheet, that could give the Pacers more than three days to keep Hibbert's smaller cap hold on their books before making his new deal official.

1:38pm: Roy Hibbert is prepared to sign a four-year, max-salary offer sheet with the Trail Blazers tomorrow night, but the Pacers will match it and bring the big man back to Indiana, according to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star (via Twitter).

Hibbert was one of the first free agents to reach a verbal agreement this July, agreeing to sign an offer sheet with Portland on the first day of free agency. The Blazers' offer to Hibbert was for the maximum allowable length and amount — four years, with a first-year salary likely to approach $13MM. While it's been widely reported as a $58MM contract, I believe the final figure will be closer to $55MM, but we'll have to wait for this year's salary-cap figures to be officially established to be sure.

There was some doubt about whether the Pacers would be willing to match Portland's offer sheet, since Indiana has already committed to a five-year, $40MM deal for George Hill, and has prioritized cap flexibility in recent seasons. While a max contract will put a dent into that flexibility, it's hard to argue with the decision to spend on a 25-year-old center that has increased his production in each of his first four NBA seasons (12.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 19.3 PER in 2011/12).

If and when Hibbert officially inks Portland's offer sheet, the Pacers will have three days to match it. In the meantime, a cap hold of about $6.47MM will remain on the Pacers' books for the young center, which will give the team a chance to use its remaining free cap space to sign another player before Hibbert's cap hit balloons to near $13MM.

For the Blazers, while they figure to lose Hibbert, it makes it an easier decision to match the Timberwolves' offer sheet for Nicolas Batum. If Portland is still seeking an impact big man, the club could turn its focus to a player like JaVale McGee or Chris Kaman.


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