When Robert Mathis shows up courtside at Pacers games, he's usually sporting a No. 55 jersey, supporting his friend Roy Hibbert. For his part, Hibbert sports the No. 98 jersey at Lucas Oil Stadium when watching the Colts.
The bond the pair share has developed over the past few years as they've teamed up for a softball challenge to support the Indiana Children's Wish Fund. Team Mathis vs. Team Hibbert which included a few teammates and other local media members at Victory Field, was all about raising money for a good cause.
So it is a bit curious that Mathis announced the date of this year's event with some "new friends joining the party" which doesn't include his old friend Roy Hibbert.
This offers a fantastic opportunity for some reckless speculation on just why Hibbert is no longer headlining the event. Maybe Hibbert just can't make his schedule work this year. I'm sure we'll soon hear some similar explanation about the charitable change.
But that's no fun, I prefer starting here...
HE'S GONE! Hibbert must be opting out if he's not maintaining his charitable ties to the community! We all know Hibbert has a player option for the final year of his deal worth in excess of $15 million, but would he really pass on the last year?
Yeah...not so fast.
It hasn't been the best year for Big Roy and after Larry Bird essentially demoted him during his post-season presser, you couldn't blame Hibbert for spending the offseason anywhere but at the Fieldhouse. Opting out of a guaranteed $15-plus million player option is borderline nutty considering the circumstances. Maybe Hibbert is just willing to do his time to get paid, but after his local support cratered this year, so did his desire to be a visible presence in the community.
But...never forget that David Falk represents Roy Hibbert and he has a history of getting things done for clients. Is it possible he is massaging two sides of a potential trade with leverage from other clients to land Roy in a more favorable situation? Does he have a team willing to pay enough that Hibbert wouldn't mind giving up a little money to move on?
After watching the Celtics get shredded at the rim, maybe there is a team out there willing to absorb Hibbert's final year, knowing they may sign him to a more reasonable contract the following year. Sticking with the Celtics, a team committed to a long-term rebuild and oozing with assets, they have the cap space next year to absorb the big contract along with far more picks (13 combined '15-'17 draft picks including six first round picks) than they can eventually afford to pay over the next three years.
So say the Pacers swap Hibbert for Gerald Wallace and a pick. It gives the C's a rim protector they don't rely on for offense whom they're willing to overpay for one year when they have money to burn while waiting for the cap to increase and then keep Hibbert around for a better deal. The Pacers add some cap space but lose said rim protector.
It is not yet May and the wild Hibbert scenarios are already surfacing. Can you thing of any other ways the Hibbert situation plays out this offseason?