Jul 01

Freeman: Trail Blazers Reach Verbal Agreement With Roy Hibert

By DHawes22 Posted in: Blazers, Pacers, royhibbert
We told you it was going to be a crazy offseason, Rip City! With the free agency moratorium period starting at 9:01 pm on the west coast Saturday night, it didn’t take long for the Trail Blazers to make their splash. At 12:41 am, Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick reported that both Larry Miller and Neil Olshey flew to Washington D.C. to meet with arguably the top center on the free agent market, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert.

The news that the Trail Blazers could potentially have one of the league’s best and youngest centers to play in the post alongside All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge had the city of Portland at a fever pitch. A Facebook status update relaying Amick’s information posted at 1:14 am received 1,580 likes and 279 comments. Need any more proof that the best fans in the NBA reside in Rip City?

When dealing with restricted free agents, it is assumed that the home team will always match – especially those of the 25-year-old, 7-2, 260 lb. All-Star variety. Optimism heightened when Amick reported shortly after that the Pacers did not make a MAX contract offer and that Hibbert, himself, was leaning towards signing an offer sheet with the Trail Blazers.

And earlier this morning, the Oregonian’s Joe Freeman reported that the two sides reached a verbal agreement on a contract offer – the closest they can get to actually signing an offer sheet without doing so.

The team on Sunday reached a verbal agreement on a multi-year contract with restricted free agent Roy Hibbert, widely regarded as the top center prospect on the market.

“We intend to enter into an offer sheet once the moratorium period ends,” Olshey told The Oregonian in an e-mail.

Apparently, Hibbert was “blown away” by Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey during Portland’s pitch to him, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge.

Hibbert, acquired by the Indiana Pacers (from the Toronto Raptors) on Draft day in 2008, had long expressed his desire to remain in Indiana, with the team that traded for him and helped him develop into an All-Star center. But the 25-year-old was apparently blown away by the presentation made Saturday in Washington, D.C., by the Blazers’ contingent, which included Portland’s new general manager, Neil Olshey.

In his fourth season out of Georgetown – a school known for producing some of the league’s top all-time centers (Ewing, Mourning, Mutombo) – Hibbert put up career-highs in points (12.8), field-goal percentage (.497), rebounds (8.8), blocks (2.0) and steals (0.5) per game. During his finest season, Hibbert was a major piece to the Pacers’ Eastern Conference Semi-Final puzzle. The postseason saw Hibbert elevate his game to another level as he averaged a double-double (11.7 points and 11.2 rebounds) along with an impressive 3.1 blocks per contest.

The Trail Blazers and Hibbert can’t officially sign an offer sheet until July 11th. And due to Hibbert’s restricted free agent status, the Pacers have three full days to decide whether or not to match. It could be nearly two weeks away from today, on July 14th, until everything has settled. It’s going to be a long wait, but until then, check out some of Big Roy’s highlights.


  1. This is exactly what we need...a center with both a defensive and offensive game!!! With him and Leonard we would be set at the center position for the first time in years! Man, it will feel good to finally have 5 options on offence don't ya think? ;-)

    peace out,

    by daddylogan on 7/1/2012 8:15 PM
  2. we need him to take that 52 jersey

    by Ian Hutchins on 7/1/2012 10:02 PM
  3. leg oden wore 52 instead lets have block hibbert wear it

    by Ian Hutchins on 7/1/2012 10:03 PM
  4. I think this is a great move and yeah daddylogan, it does feel good!

    by riverman on 7/1/2012 10:22 PM
  5. Now we need to bring in Hakeem Alajuwon to train every big on the roster footwork in the post, Kobe did it and so did LeBron with amazing results! Amare Stoudamire is hiring him this year as well. Word has spread that he's the best teacher of centers on the planet.

    by riverman on 7/1/2012 10:26 PM
  6. I am not trying to ruin the party, but I feel Indy will match any offer, plus one year more. It is the same as Nic's situation. Indy can go over the cap space to sign Hibbert because of Bird rights. It is a great thought of getting Hibbert and signing Batum. How about
    E Will
    Hibbert. wow.

    by Hg on 7/1/2012 10:32 PM
  7. Damn this is beast but.....Pacers were looking at Asik..to replace Hibebrt but now he has a verbal agreement with Houston...SO now Pacers can focus on Hibbert....BUt still Love The Agreesion Oshley is showing and this is a great move if we can pick him up!!

    by Siccolo on 7/1/2012 11:15 PM
  8. I dont think Pacers will match it. It might be too much for them. They are meeting with Chris Kaman who would be cheaper the Hibbert, plus if Hibbert wants to leave they wont make him stay. I think he wants to come to RIP CITY!!!

    by ripcitydrummer on 7/2/2012 12:14 AM
  9. like!!!

    by ronix on 7/2/2012 2:41 AM
  10. This will be great for the trailblazers, because if Indy does match that eats up into there cap space putting them over the cap. Then the blazers could make a run at george hill. But imagine if Roy Hibbert did sign with us and then we did a sign and trade with wesley and nolan/babbit for O.J. Mayo. While using our Bird rights on Batum. Our starting lineup would look like...
    D. Lillard
    O.J. Mayo
    N. Batum
    Roy Hibbert.
    Then we add depth by bringing over Victor Claver form Europe along with Joe Freeland(which is unlikely) and sign Kirk Hinirich to a veteran's mininum to mentor Lillard. Our back-ups would be
    PG- Kirk maybe Nolan (depending on trade)
    SG- E Will and Will Barton
    SF- Shawne Williams maybe Luke Babbit (trade)
    PF- Joe Freeland
    C- Meyers Leonard.
    That would contend for a top 3 seed in the West WITH injuries!

    by special k on 7/2/2012 5:44 AM
  11. Hey Special K: we got it the first time LMAO. There is some weird going ons in posting today.
    My disagreement is Indy wants George Hill, so it would be collison that goes unprotected. The rest of your speculation sounds great, but it seems a little far fetched in money allocated to spend.

    by Hg on 7/2/2012 6:04 AM
  12. No worries Special K, I took care of the extra posts. As HG said, something things can get weird in terms of multiple posts.

    As far as Hibert goes, Canazano said on Sports Sunday that he think there's an 80% chance Indiana matches. But if you read the message boards on a few Pacers sites, a lot of them do not want to match. So, in the end, I think it will come down to a last-minute decision on the Pacers' part.

    by DHawes22 on 7/2/2012 8:24 AM
  13. As Casey reported in his blog, Chad Ford says Indy is still on the fence in regards to matching the reported verbal agreement. But a lot could also hinge on how well their visit with Chris Kaman goes.

    by DHawes22 on 7/2/2012 11:26 AM
  14. Casey, DHawes,
    Does Indy signing Hill to a 5 year deal mean anything one way or the other for Hibbert?

    by pdxpar5 on 7/2/2012 12:22 PM
  15. I love the idea of signing Hibbert, but then will we be able to afford Batum. The Timberwolves have already been rumored to have a verbal "offering" of 4 years, $50 million, which I don't see Portland being able to match if they sign Hibbert, although I still do not understand the concept of Bird Rights and Bird Years. If someone could explain that for me, that would be wonderful. If Portland could bring in a point guard at the veteran's minimum to mentor our only two point guards (Nolan Smith and Damian Lillard, both extremely young), then our starters could look something like this:
    PG - Damian Lillard
    SG - Wesley Matthews
    SF - Nicolas Batum
    PF - LaMarcus Aldridge
    C - Roy Hibbert

    by basketball1367 on 7/2/2012 12:42 PM
  16. pdxpar-

    The optimist in me says it means Indiana is choosing to pursue George Hill over Roy Hibbert, making it more likely they will not match.

    The pessimist says if they are willing to spend money on Hill, then why wouldn't they match on Hibbert?

    by DHawes22 on 7/2/2012 12:47 PM
  17. We would fiscally be ABLE to sign Batum if Hibbert went unmatched because we have his Bird Rights which allows us to sign him and go above the salary cap. Here's a quick explanation of Bird Rights: http://blogs.trailblazers.com/Default.aspx?TabId=99&EntryID=3897&IamaUserID=13183

    If Nico does sign another offer sheet it becomes a matter of do we WANT to match, which I think Olshey has made it pretty darn clear he sees him as a part of the vision for the team going forward.

    by sarahhecht on 7/2/2012 12:49 PM
  18. pdxpar and DHawes22; Indy giving George Hill a five year contract only means that they choose Hill over Collison.
    Indy's situation is the same as the Blazers, they want to spend all their cap space with signing, trade and FA then sign Hibbert using the Bird Rights to go over the cap space. So we might still get Hibbert, but that would not be a sign IMO. Now if they sign Carman then that would put me drooling like Miss Sarah.

    by Hg on 7/2/2012 1:01 PM
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