Roy Hibbert opts into contract, but is he on his way out?

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According ESPN.com Senior Writer Mark Stein, Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert has decided to opt into his current contract with the Indiana Pacers. His cap hit next season will be $15.5 million. 

Hibbert was drafted with the 17th pick in 2008 by the Toronto Raptors, but has spent all seven years of his NBA career in Indiana. On July 9th, 2008, Hibbert was traded to Indiana along with Maceo Baston, T.J. Ford, and Rasho Nesterovic for Jermaine O’Neal and Nathan Jawai. It is safe to say the Indiana Pacers won that trade.

The 7’2″ center is one of the biggest players in the NBA. He averaged 10.6 points per game in 2015 which was his lowest point per game total in the last six seasons. But at the free-throw line, Hibbert shot 82% which was a career high.

His height gives him an advantage on the defensive end. In his career, Hibbert has averaged 1.9 blocks and 6.8 rebounds per game. He is the most important player outside of Paul George on the Indiana Pacers.

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Now that he is officially opted in for the 2015-2016 season, the Pacers are trying to move on.

After going from the best team in the East to missing the playoffs next season, it’s time to rebuild. Even though Paul George was out for a majority of the season, the Pacers don’t have enough talent to win the Eastern Conference. They looked old and slow with a 38-44 record in a weak conference.

It’s time to make changes and the Pacers are already going through some changes this offseason. Veteran power forward David West opted out of his contract with the team earlier this week. Luis Scola and Rodney Stuckey are two other veterans hitting the free agent market. In the 2015 NBA Draft, the Pacers selected PF Myles Turner out of Texas with the 11th pick of the draft. The Pacers are looking to build a younger and faster team around Paul George.

At 28 years old, Hibbert has some good years left in him. He has been durable playing in 65 games or more in his career. With the need for a rim protector in the NBA, teams will be calling Indiana Pacers General Manager Larry Bird for Hibbert’s services. Potential landing spots are the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and Portland Trail Blazers.

@alecwalt

All statistics courtesy of ESPN.com

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