There was a time when Roy Hibbert was seen as one of the promising center in the NBA and the Indiana Pacers could ride with him through that.
But somewhere along the way, Hibbert fizzled. He slowed down and uncharacteristically failed to live up to the billing that earned him a big $58 million paycheck for four years back in 2012.
For someone who had put up numbers of 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game, Hibbert did indeed show promise. But it seems that whenever a player is coming off a stellar year and re-signs for a larger contract, his performance dips. The Lakers are no stranger to this, having dealt with it in the person of Nick Young.
In the end, the Pacers planned to change their game plan and go small. Pacers president Larry Bird wanted a fast-tempo style of game and obviously Hibbert would be spending most of his time on the Pacers bench.
Hibbert did the sensible thing to do — opt in and then wait for a trade. The trade came and it was with the Los Angeles Lakers.
With the Lakers, Hibbert could become a star if he works for it. He is in good company and has the potential to become a true center that the Lakers have been looking for ever since the departure of Shaquille O' Neal.
With coach Byron Scott's Princeton style of play, Hibbert could take advantage of mismatches, which are expected to happen. In all, Hibbert could be fit in the system, although all that remains to be seen.
All those factors aside, Hibbert stands to gain and probably earn more if he proves that he is a valuable player to retain in the Lakers' fold. His contract is good for just a year and if he impresses, the Lakers will most likely retain him next season.
Is he worthy of a maximum contract deal? Well that could all depend on how he adapts and performs in the coming season. If he falters, chances are he will end up looking for another team to join next season.