The Los Angeles Lakers are "actively discussing" a trade to acquire Indiana Pacers' center Roy Hibbert, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. The Pacers and Hibbert looking to part ways has been no secret, and from the sound of Stein's report, the Lakers would be offering only salary relief to the Pacers by taking Hibbert into their estimated $23 million in salary cap space.
For all of the Pacers struggles in 2014-15, Hibbert still played in 76 games and posted statistics (10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game) very similar to his career averages of 11.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks. However, with all signs pointing to Indiana wanting to play faster next year, the ground-bound Hibbert is less of a fit than he has been in years past.
For the Lakers, Hibbert would provide much needed rim protection next to Julius Randle in their frontcourt, and plug a massive hole at center. If nothing else, these discussions at least signify that the Lakers front office was able to quickly move on from their failed pursuits of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan (who both agreed to terms with the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks, respectively, over the last 24 hours) and is ready to use their cap space to fill team needs in other ways. Mitch Kupchak used the Lakers cap space similarly last year, taking on the last year of Jeremy Lin's contract from the Houston Rockets in exchange for a first round pick (used to select Larry Nance, Jr. in the 2015 NBA Draft).
It remains to be seen what assets Indiana would be parting with in order to entice the Lakers to take the last year of Hibbert's deal off of their hands, but stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for more updates on these developing discussions.