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Amick: Blazers Offer Pacers RFA C Roy Hibbert Max Deal On July 1

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Sam Amick of SI.com reports on Twitter that Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller and GM Neil Olshey made Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert their first stop of the 2012 NBA Free Agency period and that they came bearing money, lots of it. ----------------------------------- Source: Portland GM Neil Olshey and team President Larry Miller visited restricted free agent center Roy Hibbert tonight in DC, offered max deal. Indiana did not offer a max deal, and Hibbert is now leaning to Blazers unless Pacers match. One other unnamed team offered max. ----------------------------------- Remember, the Blazers can offer Hibbert a 4-year contract; the Pacers can offer him a fifth year. Offer sheets cannot be signed until July 11, after the NBA's moratorium is completed. Update: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports the offer is worth $58 million over four years. Storyteller sent in a few good reminders and figures on the financials at play, posted here. Joe Freeman of The Oregonian quotes Olshey saying the Blazers "intend to enter into an offer sheet" on July 11 after the two sides reached a "verbal agreement" on the deal. Here's reaction from Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star on Twitter. -------------------------------- The Pacers are already looking at other options at center. They've reached to out Omer Asik, who was with Chicago last season. Indy has also reached to Jamal Crawford, who signed with Portland instead of the Pacers last season. No, that does not mean the Pacers won't match Portland's offer to Hibbert. Time will tell on that. Pritchard and Walsh are just doing their job. It's been a rough few days for Pacers fans. Upset over Plumlee pick, now Hibbert. -------------------------------- Hibbert, 25, just completed his fourth season with the Indiana Pacers, posting career-high averages of 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He played in 65 of Indiana's 66 games last season. The Pacers, who advanced to the second round of the 2012 Eastern Conference playoffs after posting the NBA's fifth best record in 2011-12, have been expected to match any offers made to Hibbert. Back on June 23, Evan Sidery polled the readers of SBNation's Indiana Pacers blog IndyCornrows.com: 67 percent said they would not match a 4-year, maximum contract offer to Hibbert. The Pacers are in a similar position as the Blazers. They are well under the salary cap currently but need to pay Hibbert just as the Blazers need to pay Batum. Hibbert, listed at 7-foot-2 and 278 pounds, is generally regarded as a top-5 free agent in this year's class and the best available center. Last week, Pacers president Larry Bird stepped aside with former Pacers and New York Knicks executive Donnie Walsh taking his place. Former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard was promoted from director of player personnel to GM while former GM David Morway was pushed out. Another contingent of Blazers executives reportedly met with Chicago Bulls restricted free agent center Omer Asik on July 1 as well. Follow along and discuss the latest NBA league-wide free agency rumors and reports in this post. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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