Now that DeAndre Jordan is heading back to that other team, there is plenty of speculation that the Dallas Mavericks might pursue a trade with the Pacers for Roy Hibbert. At the very least, it would be smart of Larry Bird to float out a few rumors to force the Lakers’ hand into sweetening the pot.
So, a couple questions remain: 1) What does Hibbert represent to the Lakers and, 2) How much are the Lakers willing to give up for the at-times inconsistent big man with only a year left on his contract?
If that speculation does play out as expected (though, to be fair, Dallas is said to also be interested in Kevin Seraphin of the Washington Wizards), we can pretty much eliminate any possibility of dumping salary on Indy. So, it looks like the Lakers are stuck with Nick Young and/or Ryan Kelly.
Not ideal, but it beats giving up assets in return for the Pacers’ salary dump.
Now, if the Pacers do indeed push for legitimate assets, like future picks or, God forbid, one of the Lakers young guys, I’m not sure the move is a slam dunk any longer. Actually, I’ll go ahead and wander onto a fairly secure limb and say there is no chance in the world the Lakers give up Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle or D’Angelo Russell. None whatsoever.
Now, would the Lakers be okay giving up a future pick or two? I think they should be.
I’m going out of order here, but Hibbert represents salvaging the Lakers’ offseason in many ways. He fits perfectly with Randle, is only under contract through the end of the year and should have a chip on his shoulder to want to prove himself after being abandoned by the franchise that drafted him. If the Lakers are forced to give up a future second and are allowed to place restrictions on how it’s eventually worth anything to Indy, you have to do the deal.
Yes, the situation before Jordan changed his mind was much clearer and involved a helluva lot more leverage for the Lakers. But if the alternative is heading into a season in which Robert Sacre is the starting center, Mitch Kupchak and the rest of the front office have to be flexible with some kind of end game in mind.
In the meantime, to anyone reading this: please send any highlight reels of the aforementioned Seraphin on down to Mark Cuban, who’s probably drunk off Avion right now, anyway.