According to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, the Pacers are preparing to pay the big man $58 million over the next four years.
The Pacers are matching Portland's 4-year, $58 million offer to Roy Hibbert, according to a source— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNBA) July 9, 2012
$14.5 million per season is a bargain for someone with Hibbert’s talent and size. Considering his improvement over the past four seasons, this is an extremely reasonable offer.
The 7’2”, 260-pound behemoth put up 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.7 assists while starting 65 regular season games for the third-best team in the Eastern Conference.
To put this in perspective, infamous draft bust Kwame Brown received a whopping $7 million from the Golden State Warriors to play off the bench this past season before being injured and subsequently traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Are the Pacers making a good decision to match?
There is an undeniable premium on size in the NBA, which makes a skilled big like Hibbert worth every penny. He is able to protect the rim, pull down boards, swat shots and continues to hone his low-post game.
While the former Georgetown standout may never be able to carry Indiana offensively, the production he provides at the center spot are a steal for $14.5 million per year.
Hibbert is only going to get better with more time on the court, and the Pacers have a better chance to contend by keeping their core together. One of the few things that the top teams in the league generally do not have is a dominant center, and Hibbert has shown signs of becoming one in recent years.
Should he eventually make a leap and solidify his status as a perennial All-Star, Indiana could become a dark horse NBA Finals contender. That $58 million contract will look awfully cheap if Hibbert helps lead the Pacers through East.