It looks like Roy Hibbert will play the remainder of the season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insider included Hibbert in his list of potential post-trade deadline buyout candidates, though he stressed there’s a slim chance the Lakers will buy out the former All-Star center before the March 1 deadline.
Kyler noted that one of the reasons why the Lakers want to keep Hibbert until the end of this season is his positive locker room influence, becoming a big brother figure to young guys D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle.
“The Lakers like the veteran center, value his leadership with the young guys and do not see him as a problem they need to solve.”
“Hibbert has $4.952 million left on his contract and the only way a buyout becomes plausible is if Hibbert is willing to leave a sizable chunk of that on the table and request a buyout, which sources say he has not done.”
The Lakers acquired Hibbert in an offseason trade with the Indiana Pacers, hoping the former two-time All-Star would recapture his status as one of the best rim protectors in the league. Unfortunately, the expectation was too much for Hibbert to reach. He averaged 6.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 24 minutes per contest.
Days prior to Feb. 18 trade deadline, the Lakers made four veterans available on the trading block, one of them was Hibbert, but didn’t receive solid offers for the big man.
The 29-year old Hibbert is on the final year of his contract worth roughly $15 million. He will become an unrestricted free-agent this summer.