NBA trade rumors are stating that Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is currently trying to find a playoffs team for Roy Hibbert to be traded to, according to Hoops Rumors. The team already knows that they’re missing the NBA Playoffs again this season and will be drafting pretty high, so they want to do a favor for their veteran and open up playing time for younger players.
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
The Los Angeles Lakers have 11 victories and 43 losses at this point in time. That makes them dead last in the Western Conference. Even if the old Kobe Bryant decides to show up, the odds of the Lakers ending their NBA Playoffs drought are virtually nonexistent right now. Since we are coming up on NBA All-Star weekend, now is a good time for Los Angeles to start looking towards the upcoming seasons as opposed to the current one.
It’s a time-honored tradition in the NBA for struggling teams to do their veteran players a favor by seeing if a playoffs-bound team is interested in acquiring their services. We saw it two decades ago when the Portland Trailblazers sent Clyde Drexler to join his college teammate, Hakeem Olajuwon, in helping the Houston Rockets win an NBA Championship. More recently, we saw the Boston Celtics send Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the New Jersey Nets so that they could compete for another title.
The Los Angeles Lakers are now attempting to do a favor for Roy Hibbert, a player who does not fit into their plans for the future. At one point in time, Hibbert was considered one of the best defensive players in the NBA when he proudly protected the rim for the Indiana Pacers. Roy has inexplicably declined a bit since then but in the right situation, the former Georgetown Hoyas star can become a really productive player again.
Yesterday, the Memphis Grizzlies found out that starting center Marc Gasol suffered a foot injury and might miss the rest of the NBA season. Since the team has 30 victories and 22 losses, they are still in the NBA Playoffs picture, so a replacement might be needed to keep the momentum going. Gasol is productive on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, so most replacements will be considered a downgrade, but Hibbert should still be at least adequate as their new starting center.
Though the Atlanta Hawks are trying to trade Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, and Al Horford, the team remains in playoffs contention. If Hawks president Mike Budenholzer decided to give the group another shot at the Cleveland Cavaliers, then they’re going to need another center to replace the injured Tiago Splitter, who was rather productive as the third big man. Atlanta could afford to play Horford at his preferred forward position since Roy Hibbert can give them solid minutes at the center spot.
When Joakim Noah went down with a season-ending shoulder injury, the Chicago Bulls no longer had the luxury of having enviable depth along the front court. To ensure a deep run during the NBA Playoffs game, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, and Pau Gasol are going to need to have some additional muscles on the bench. Roy Hibbert can provide them with minutes at the center position that Noah left behind.
Roy Hibbert can still be useful in the NBA.
[Featured Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]