Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird has revealed that center Roy Hibbert will have a ‘lesser role’ if he returns next season.
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Hibbert has endured a rough time in Indiana since last year’s playoffs when his numbers and overall performances dropped off significantly.
It resulted in speculation that the franchise were open to the idea of trading him if the deal was right, and it appears as though their lack of confidence has extended to the end of the campaign.
Bird revealed that if the towering center opts to return to the franchise, the 28-year-old has a $15.5m player option for next season, then he will need to expect to play less of a role for the team.
Always appreciate candor of #Pacers president Larry Bird. He said Roy Hibbert didn’t play well, will have lesser role if back next year.
— Phillip B Wilson (@pwilson24) April 17, 2015
Given the fact that it is highly unlikely that any team will come close to offering him the same kind of money, Hibbert will be heading back to Indiana next season.
However, he will need to prepare for a shift in power away from him based on Bird’s comments, as after averaging just 10.6 points per game this year which was his lowest total since his rookie season, the Pacers big man will be on the fringes trying to make an impact.
It is certainly a fall from the top for Hibbert considering how important he was to the team and how influential his play was during their tense post-season battles with the Miami Heat.
That looks like a thing of the past now and so both parties will have to consider their options and figure out what is best for themselves moving forward.