Upon acquiring Roy Hibbert for just a single second round pick, there was talk from many around the Los Angeles Lakers of hope that the elite rim protector good regain some of his form after a down year with the Indiana Pacers. The Lakers front office envisioned Hibbert patching up holes in a formerly leaky Lakers defense, and dragging the team to respectability on that end of the floor.
That has not come to pass. The Lakers are worse on both offense and defense with Hibbert on the floor, and the big man's playing time has dwindled from 26.9 minutes per game in the first month of the season to 23 in January. Hibbert is in the final year of a contract paying him $15.5 million, and waived a 15% trade kicker (valued at $2.3 million) in order to facilitate a move to Los Angeles. This sacrifice, combined with the Lakers being much worse than the team had hoped going into the season, has led the front office to at least start to inquire about moving Hibbert to greener pastures for the second half of the year, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
Roy Hibbert waived some of his trade kicker to land in LA... I was told Lakers trying to find him a playoff team. https://t.co/f0ulO2TqJB— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 18, 2016
Looking across the league, there are not a lot of "playoff teams" who would realistically looking to give up anything of value to be able to take on a player struggling as much as Hibbert has this season at his salary, but it is interesting to hear that the Lakers are looking.
Other than the difficulty finding a fit, the Lakers may be reticent to give up Hibbert despite his struggles. The big man has been a positive locker room influence on the Lakers' young players this season, notably forwards Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr. This, combined with his expiring contract, make it unlikely that the Lakers would be willing to give up an asset to send out Hibbert. While it is notable the Lakers are looking, file away this move as unlikely, for now.