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Are the Lopez brothers key to trading Roy Hibbert?

Even if Roy Hibbert picks up his player option, the Pacers may have a few options if they want to trade the big man before next season.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Speculation about where Roy Hibbert will play next season continues to be a non-playoff topic around the NBA, a topic recently discussed by Ric Bucher and Howard Beck on their Bleacher Report NBA debate.

Common sense stands firm with Hibbert picking up his player option along with $15.5 million in salary next season. But other factors are popping up which may topple common sense or at lease alter the end result. First, Larry Bird flatly stated that Hibbert won't have a Big Dawg role with the Pacers next year even if he's paid like he should. Also, Hibbert is not participating in one of his favorite local charity events this summer.

As I mentioned in the charity post, Hibbert could pick up his option and still remain a trade target for the right situation. Boston has a perfect trade situation in place if, you know, they wanted to solve their post defense deficiencies with Hibbert.

Bucher and Beck also thought Boston could be a trade destination for Hibbert, but focused more on Portland and Brooklyn, with the Robin Lopez and Brook Lopez both being key to either deal. The Blazers may prefer to pay Hibbert for one year instead of paying Robin Lopez for more years and possibly more money than they think he's worth. Brook Lopez also has an option and the Nets may prefer to begin a rebuild which would be helped by moving Lopez.

As you'll hear by listening to the whole Bucher/Beck debate, the Pacers may have more options than our blue and gold tinted view of Hibbert may let us believe.